Background: Age and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) treatment may affect the association of HIV infection with atherosclerosis.
Methods: We used identical carotid artery B-mode ultrasonographic methods in 5 cohorts participating in the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute HIV-CVD Collaborative to measure intima-media thickness of the right far wall of the common carotid artery (CCA-IMT) and carotid artery bifurcation (BIF-IMT) between 2010 and 2013. Participants aged 6-75 years were either HIV infected or uninfected. Linear regression assessed associations of CCA-IMT and BIF-IMT with HIV infection and cardiovascular disease risk factors, within age and HIV treatment groups. Adjustment variables included sex, race/ethnicity, smoking, height, weight, and use of antihypertensive and lipid-lowering drugs.
Results: We studied 867 HIV-infected and 338 HIV-uninfected male and 696 HIV-infected and 246 HIV-uninfected female participants. Among both middle-aged (30-49 years) and older adults (50-75 years), HIV-infected participants had CCA-IMT and BIF-IMT values that were similar to or lower than those in HIV-uninfected participants. In contrast, among those aged 6-29 years, HIV infection was associated with higher CCA-IMT and BIF-IMT values. Among HIV-infected participants, associations of higher systolic blood pressure and lower high-density lipoprotein cholesterol with Carotid artery intima-media thickness strengthened with age.
Conclusions: The effects of HIV on carotid artery structure may differ across the lifespan, with traditional determinants of cardiovascular disease burden playing a larger role and HIV playing a lesser role in older adults than in young adults and children.
Keywords: HIV infection; aging; biomarker; cardiovascular disease risk factors; carotid artery intima-media thickness.
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