Objective: Recent results from the D:A:D Study indicated that the incidence of myocardial infarction (MI) increased by 26% per year of exposure to combination antiretroviral treatment (CART). The present study was performed to investigate whether this risk was similar when including other cardio- and cerebro-vascular disease events (CCVE).
Design: D:A:D is an international collaboration of 11 cohorts, following 23 468 HIV-infected patients prospectively at 188 clinics in 21 countries situated in Europe, USA and Australia.
Methods: The end-point was the occurrence of a first CCVE during prospective follow-up, defined as the first of: acute MI, invasive cardiovascular procedures, stroke, or death from other cardiovascular disease. Relative rates (RR) for CCVE from Poisson regression models and 95% confidence intervals (CI) are reported. All models are adjusted for other risk factors for CCVE, including age, gender, ethnicity, family history, body mass index, and smoking status as well as cohort and HIV transmission group.
Results: Over 36 145 person-years of follow-up, 207 patients experienced at least one CCVE (23.7% fatal). The first event was MI in 126 patients, invasive cardiovascular procedure in 39 patients, stroke in 38 patients, and death from other cardiovascular disease in four patients. The incidence of first CCVE was 5.7 per 1000 person-years [95% confidence interval (CI) 5.0-6.5] and increased with longer exposure to CART (RR per year of exposure, 1.26; 95% CI, 1.14-1.38; P < 0.0001).
Conclusion: CART increases the risk of CCVD, and this increase is comparable with how CART affects the risk of MI. This finding is consistent with the hypothesis that atherosclerosis is a side-effect of CART.