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Those With HIV at Higher Risk for Heart Failure

Last Updated: April 26, 2011.

Individuals with HIV may be at higher risk for heart failure, particularly if they have higher levels of ongoing viral replication, according to research published in the April 25 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

TUESDAY, April 26 (HealthDay News) -- Individuals with HIV may be at higher risk for heart failure, particularly if they have higher levels of ongoing viral replication, according to research published in the April 25 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Adeel A. Butt, M.D., of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and colleagues evaluated 8,486 subjects, 28.2 percent of whom were HIV-infected, to determine whether HIV infection is a risk factor for heart failure. The participants were veterans enrolled in the Veterans Aging Cohort Study Virtual Cohort and the 1999 Large Health Study of Veteran Enrollees from Jan. 1, 2000, to July 31, 2007.

During a median 7.3 years of follow-up, the researchers found age- and race/ethnicity-adjusted heart failure rates of 7.12 and 4.82 per 1,000-person years in the HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected groups, respectively. An increased risk for heart failure was seen in HIV-infected individuals (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR], 1.81), and this association persisted in those without a history of coronary heart disease or alcohol abuse or dependence prior to the heart failure event (aHR, 1.96). The heart failure risk was increased in HIV-infected individuals with HIV-1 RNA levels of 500 or more copies/mL at baseline but not in those with lower levels.

"Our data suggest that HIV infection is a risk factor for heart failure. Ongoing viral replication is associated with a higher risk of developing heart failure," the authors write.

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