Nav: Home

HIV infection doubles risk of heart disease, global study finds

July 18, 2018

People infected with HIV are twice as likely to suffer from heart disease, research has found.

Analysis of global figures reveals that HIV-associated cardiovascular disease has more than tripled in the past 20 years as more people are living longer with the virus.

The greatest impact is in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia Pacific regions, with Swaziland, Botswana and Lesotho particularly affected.

Researchers say the findings will help to target treatments to people facing the greatest risk, helping to maximise resources in countries with limited healthcare funding.

An international team of experts, led by the University of Edinburgh, reviewed studies from 153 countries to determine the rate of heart disease in people living with HIV.

They also calculated the number of years lost as a result of death or ill-health in each country to measure the disease's global impact - or so-called health burden.

The research, which included studies with almost 800,000 people, found the risk of cardiovascular disease among people living with HIV was double the rate among uninfected people.

More than two-thirds of the burden of HIV-associated heart disease was found in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia Pacific regions, the study found.

In some parts of the world, HIV ranks alongside better-known risk factors - such as diet and lifestyle - as a major cause of heart disease.

There are more than 35 million people infected with HIV worldwide, a figure that is steadily increasing. Those infected are now more likely to die from chronic diseases, such as cancer or cardiovascular disease, because life-saving medications can keep the virus in check.

The link between HIV and heart disease is poorly understood. Scientists think the virus may cause inflammation of blood vessels, which puts pressure on the cardiovascular system.

The virus is also thought to raise fat levels in the blood and affect the body's ability to regulate sugar levels, which may also contribute to heart disease.

The study, published in Circulation, was funded by the British Heart Foundation.

Dr Anoop Shah, Clinical Lecturer in Cardiology at the University of Edinburgh, said: "This study has important implications when planning cardiovascular preventative policies in low resource countries where the burden of HIV remains high and that of cardiovascular disease is growing."

Professor Jeremy Pearson, Associate Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation, said:

"We now have clear evidence that your risk of heart and circulatory disease is doubled if you have HIV. This news will have major public health implications globally, but particularly in developing countries in Africa where the burden of HIV is higher.

"The effects of one disease on another are often poorly understood. But, with an ageing population, the number of people living with more than one disease will continue to rise. It's essential we build our understanding of the interplay between conditions so we can give patients the best treatments and advice."
-end-


University of Edinburgh

Related Heart Disease Articles:

Arsenic in drinking water may change heart structure raising risk of heart disease
Drinking water that is contaminated with arsenic may lead to thickening of the heart's main pumping chamber in young adults, according to a new study by researchers at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.
New health calculator can help predict heart disease risk, estimate heart age
A new online health calculator can help people determine their risk of heart disease, as well as their heart age, accounting for sociodemographic factors such as ethnicity, sense of belonging and education, as well as health status and lifestyle behaviors.
Wide variation in rate of death between VA hospitals for patients with heart disease, heart failure
Death rates for veterans with ischemic heart disease and chronic heart failure varied widely across the Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system from 2010 to 2014, which could suggest differences in the quality of cardiovascular health care provided by VA medical centers.
Heart failure: The Alzheimer's disease of the heart?
Similar to how protein clumps build up in the brain in people with some neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, protein clumps appear to accumulate in the diseased hearts of mice and people with heart failure, according to a team led by Johns Hopkins University researchers.
Women once considered low risk for heart disease show evidence of previous heart attack scars
Women who complain about chest pain often are reassured by their doctors that there is no reason to worry because their angiograms show that the women don't have blockages in the major heart arteries, a primary cause of heart attacks in men.
Where you live could determine risk of heart attack, stroke or dying of heart disease
People living in parts of Ontario with better access to preventive health care had lower rates of cardiac events compared to residents of regions with less access, found a new study published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).
Older adults with heart disease can become more independent and heart healthy with physical activity
Improving physical function among older adults with heart disease helps heart health and even the oldest have a better quality of life and greater independence.
Dietary factors associated with substantial proportion of deaths from heart disease, stroke, and disease
Nearly half of all deaths due to heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes in the US in 2012 were associated with suboptimal consumption of certain dietary factors, according to a study appearing in the March 7 issue of JAMA.
Certain heart fat associated with higher risk of heart disease in postmenopausal women
For the first time, researchers have pinpointed a type of heart fat, linked it to a risk factor for heart disease and shown that menopausal status and estrogen levels are critical modifying factors of its associated risk in women.
Maternal chronic disease linked to higher rates of congenital heart disease in babies
Pregnant women with congenital heart defects or type 2 diabetes have a higher risk of giving birth to babies with severe congenital heart disease and should be monitored closely in the prenatal period, according to a study published in CMAJ.
More Heart Disease News and Heart Disease Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Rethinking Anger
Anger is universal and complex: it can be quiet, festering, justified, vengeful, and destructive. This hour, TED speakers explore the many sides of anger, why we need it, and who's allowed to feel it. Guests include psychologists Ryan Martin and Russell Kolts, writer Soraya Chemaly, former talk radio host Lisa Fritsch, and business professor Dan Moshavi.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#538 Nobels and Astrophysics
This week we start with this year's physics Nobel Prize awarded to Jim Peebles, Michel Mayor, and Didier Queloz and finish with a discussion of the Nobel Prizes as a way to award and highlight important science. Are they still relevant? When science breakthroughs are built on the backs of hundreds -- and sometimes thousands -- of people's hard work, how do you pick just three to highlight? Join host Rachelle Saunders and astrophysicist, author, and science communicator Ethan Siegel for their chat about astrophysics and Nobel Prizes.