Background: Lifestyle physical activity (ie, moderate physical activity during routine daily activities most days of the week) may benefit human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive adults who are at high risk for cardiovascular disease.
Objective: The aims of this study were to describe lifestyle physical activity patterns in HIV-positive adults and to examine the influence of lifestyle physical activity on markers of cardiovascular health. Our secondary objective was to compare these relationships between HIV-positive adults and well-matched HIV-uninfected adults.
Methods: A total of 109 HIV-positive adults and 20 control participants wore an ActiGraph accelerometer, completed a maximal graded cardiopulmonary exercise test, completed a coronary computed tomography, completed anthropomorphic measures, and had lipids and measures of insulin resistance measured from peripheral blood.
Results: Participants (N = 129) had a mean age of 52 ± 7.3 years, 64% were male (n = 82), and 88% were African American (n = 112). On average, HIV-positive participants engaged in 33 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity per day (interquartile range, 17-55 minutes) compared with 48 minutes in controls (interquartile range, 30-62 minutes, P = .05). Human immunodeficiency virus-positive adults had poor fitness (peak oxygen uptake [VO2], 16.8 ± 5.2 mL/min per kg; and a ventilatory efficiency, 33.1 [4.6]). A marker of HIV disease (current CD4+ T cell) was associated with reduced peak VO2 (r = -0.20, P < .05) and increased insulin resistance (r = 0.25, P < .01) but not with physical activity or other markers of cardiovascular health (P ≥ 0.05). After controlling for age, gender, body mass index, and HIV status, physical activity was not significantly associated with peak VO2 or ventilatory efficiency.
Conclusion: Human immunodeficiency virus-positive adults have poor physical activity patterns and diminished cardiovascular health. Future longitudinal studies should examine whether HIV infection blunts the beneficial effects of physical activity on cardiovascular health.