Higher Prevalence of Hypertension in HIV-1-Infected Patients on Combination Antiretroviral Therapy Is Associated With Changes in Body Composition and Prior Stavudine Exposure

Clin Infect Dis. 2016 Jul 15;63(2):205-13. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciw285. Epub 2016 May 3.


Background: Individuals infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, potentially partly mediated by a higher prevalence of hypertension. We therefore examined the prevalence and determinants of hypertension in HIV-1-infected patients compared with appropriate HIV-negative controls.

Methods: Data from 527 HIV-1-infected and 517 HIV-uninfected participants at the time of enrollment into the ongoing AGEhIV Cohort Study were analyzed. Hypertension was defined as systolic blood pressure ≥140 mmHg, diastolic blood pressure ≥90 mmHg, and/or self-reported use of antihypertensive drugs.

Results: Hypertension prevalence was higher among HIV-1-infected individuals compared with controls (48.2% vs 36.4%; odds ratio [OR], 1.63; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.27-2.09). In logistic regression models adjusted for age, sex, ethnicity, family history of hypertension, smoking, alcohol use, physical activity, and body mass index, the association between HIV and hypertension remained statistically significant (ORHIV, 1.65; 95% CI, 1.25-2.19), but was attenuated after additional adjustment for waist-to-hip ratio (ORHIV, 1.29; 95% CI, .95-1.76). Among HIV-1-infected individuals, particularly among those with mono/dual nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor therapy prior to combination antiretroviral therapy, stavudine exposure was independently associated with hypertension (ORstavudine, 1.54; 95% CI, 1.04-2.30). This association was attenuated after additional adjustment for either waist-to-hip ratio (ORstavudine, 1.30; 95% CI, .85-1.96) or hip circumference (ORstavudine, 1.40; 95% CI, .93-2.11).

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that changes in body composition, involving both abdominal obesity and stavudine-induced peripheral lipoatrophy, might contribute to the higher prevalence of hypertension in HIV-1-infected patients.

Clinical trials registration: NCT01466582.

Keywords: HIV-1 infection; hypertension; lipodystrophy; obesity; stavudine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-HIV Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anti-HIV Agents / adverse effects*
  • Anti-HIV Agents / therapeutic use
  • Body Composition*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / complications*
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy
  • HIV-1*
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / epidemiology
  • Hypertension / etiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Stavudine / adverse effects*
  • Stavudine / therapeutic use
  • Waist Circumference


  • Anti-HIV Agents
  • Stavudine

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT01466582