Suboptimal primary and secondary cardiovascular disease prevention in HIV-positive individuals on antiretroviral therapy

Eur J Prev Cardiol. 2017 Aug;24(12):1297-1307. doi: 10.1177/2047487317714350. Epub 2017 Jun 5.


Background We aimed to identify the prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors, and investigate preventive cardiovascular medication use and achievement of targets as per Dutch cardiovascular risk management guidelines among human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive and HIV-negative individuals. Design The design was a cross-sectional analysis within an ongoing cohort study. Methods Data on medication use and cardiovascular disease prevalence were available for 528 HIV-positive and 521 HIV-negative participants. We identified cardiovascular risk factors and applied cardiovascular risk management guidelines, mainly focusing on individuals eligible for (a) primary prevention because of high a priori cardiovascular risk, or for (b) secondary prevention. Results One hundred and three (20%) HIV-positive and 77 (15%) HIV-negative participants were classified as having high cardiovascular risk; 53 (10%) HIV-positive and 27 (5%) HIV-negative participants were eligible for secondary prevention. Of HIV-positive individuals 57% at high cardiovascular risk and 42% of HIV-positive individuals eligible for secondary prevention had systolic blood pressures above guideline-recommended thresholds. Cholesterol levels were above guideline-recommended thresholds in 81% of HIV-positive individuals at high cardiovascular risk and 57% of HIV-positive individuals eligible for secondary prevention. No statistically significant differences were observed between HIV-positive and HIV-negative participants regarding achievement of targets, except for glycaemic control (glycated haemoglobin ≤ 53 mmol/mol) among individuals using diabetes medication (90% vs 50%, p = 0.017) and antiplatelet/anticoagulant use for secondary prevention (85% vs 63%, p = 0.045), which were both superior among HIV-positive participants. Conclusions Cardiovascular risk management is suboptimal in both HIV-positive and HIV-negative individuals and should be improved.

Keywords: Human immunodeficiency virus; cardiovascular disease; dyslipidaemia; hypertension; prevention.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Retroviral Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / complications
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Guideline Adherence
  • HIV Seropositivity / complications*
  • HIV Seropositivity / drug therapy
  • HIV*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Netherlands / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Primary Prevention / methods*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment*
  • Risk Factors
  • Secondary Prevention / methods*


  • Anti-Retroviral Agents