Cardiovascular risk factors among Ghanaian patients with HIV: A cross-sectional study

Clin Cardiol. 2019 Dec;42(12):1195-1201. doi: 10.1002/clc.23273. Epub 2019 Sep 30.


Background: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) poses a significant cause of morbidity and mortality among people living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). However, data are limited on CVD risk burden among HIV patients in Ghana. We describe the age- and sex-adjusted prevalence of CVD risk factors among HIV patients in Ghana.

Methods: From January 2013 to May 2014, we identified eligible HIV patients 18 years and older, as well as uninfected adult blood donors presenting to the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital as controls. Using a standardized protocol, we collected demographic, clinical, laboratory, and electrocardiographic data. We created multivariable logistic regression models to compare the prevalence of abnormal risk factors between the two groups.

Results: We recruited 345 patients with HIV (n = 173 on HAART, n = 172 not on HAART) and 161 uninfected adult blood donors. Patients with HIV were older (mean [SD] age: 41 [11] vs 32 [11] years) and were more likely to be female (72% vs 28%) than blood donors. Among patients on HAART, median (interquartile range) treatment duration was 17 (4-52) months. The prevalence of hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, and diabetes mellitus among HIV patients was 9%, 29%, and 5%, respectively, compared with 5%, 15%, and 0.6% among uninfected blood donors. Smoking was the least prevalent CVD risk factor (1%-2%). After adjustment for age, sex, and body mass index, HIV patients had a 10-fold higher odds of prevalent diabetes compared with controls, (adjusted OR = 10.3 [95% CI: 1.2, 86.7]).

Conclusion: CVD risk factors are common among HIV patients in Ghana, demonstrating the urgent need for creation and implementation of strategic CVD interventions.

Keywords: CVD risk; Ghana; abdominal obesity; cardiovascular disease; diabetes mellitus; high LDL-C; highly active antiretroviral therapy; hypercholesterolemia; hypertension; hypertriglyceridemia; low HDL-C; smoking.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antiretroviral Therapy, Highly Active
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Ghana
  • HIV Infections / complications*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Young Adult