Gender differences in the use of cardiovascular interventions in HIV-positive persons; the D:A:D Study

J Int AIDS Soc. 2018 Mar;21(3):e25083. doi: 10.1002/jia2.25083.


Introduction: There is paucity of data related to potential gender differences in the use of interventions to prevent and treat cardiovascular disease (CVD) among HIV-positive individuals. We investigated whether such differences exist in the observational D:A:D cohort study.

Methods: Participants were followed from study enrolment until the earliest of death, six months after last visit or February 1, 2015. Initiation of CVD interventions [lipid-lowering drugs (LLDs), angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs), anti-hypertensives, invasive cardiovascular procedures (ICPs) were investigated and Poisson regression models calculated whether rates were lower among women than men, adjusting for potential confounders.

Results: Women (n = 12,955) were generally at lower CVD risk than men (n = 36,094). Overall, initiation rates of CVD interventions were lower in women than men; LLDs: incidence rate 1.28 [1.21, 1.35] vs. 2.40 [2.34, 2.46]; ACEIs: 0.88 [0.82, 0.93] vs. 1.43 [1.39, 1.48]; anti-hypertensives: 1.40 [1.33, 1.47] vs. 1.72 [1.68, 1.77] and ICPs: 0.08 [0.06, 0.10] vs. 0.30 [0.28, 0.32], and this was also true for most CVD interventions when exclusively considering periods of follow-up for which individuals were at high CVD risk. In fully adjusted models, women were less likely to receive CVD interventions than men (LLDs: relative rate 0.83 [0.78, 0.88]; ACEIs: 0.93 [0.86, 1.01]; ICPs: 0.54 [0.43, 0.68]), except for the receipt of anti-hypertensives (1.17 [1.10, 1.25]).

Conclusion: The use of most CVD interventions was lower among women than men. Interventions are needed to ensure that all HIV-positive persons, particularly women, are appropriately monitored for CVD and, if required, receive appropriate CVD interventions.

Keywords: Cardiovascular disease; HIV; cardiovascular disease interventions; cohort studies; gender; myocardial infarction; stroke; women.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • HIV Seropositivity / complications*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Characteristics