Prevalence and Correlates of Ischemic ECG Findings among Adults With and Without HIV in Tanzania

Glob Heart. 2022 Jun 10;17(1):38. doi: 10.5334/gh.1127. eCollection 2022.


Introduction: HIV confers increased risk of myocardial infarction (MI), but there has been little study of ischemic electrocardiogram (ECG) findings among people with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa.

Objectives: To compare the prevalence of ischemic ECG findings among Tanzanians with and without HIV and to identify correlates of ischemic ECG changes among Tanzanians with HIV.

Methods: Consecutive adults presenting for routine HIV care at a Tanzanian clinic were enrolled. Age- and sex-matched HIV-uninfected controls were enrolled from a nearby general clinic. All participants completed a standardized health questionnaire and underwent 12-lead resting ECG testing, which was adjudicated by independent physicians. Prior MI was defined as pathologic Q-waves in contiguous leads, and myocardial ischemia was defined as ST-segment depression or T-wave inversion in contiguous leads. Pearson's chi-squared test was used to compare the prevalence of ECG findings among those with and without HIV and multivariate logistic regression was performed to identify correlates of prior MI among all participants.

Results: Of 497 participants with HIV and 497 without HIV, 272 (27.8%) were males and mean (sd) age was 45.2(12.0) years. ECG findings suggestive of prior MI (11.1% vs 2.4%, OR 4.97, 95% CI: 2.71-9.89, p < 0.001), and myocardial ischemia (18.7% vs 12.1% OR 1.67, 95% CI: 1.18-2.39, p = 0.004) were significantly more common among participants with HIV. On multivariate analysis, ECG findings suggestive of prior MI among all participants were associated with HIV infection (OR 4.73, 95% CI: 2.51-9.63, p = 0.030) and self-reported family history of MI or stroke (OR 1.96, 95% CI: 1.08-3.46, p = 0.023).

Conclusions: There may be a large burden of ischemic heart disease among adults with HIV in Tanzania, and ECG findings suggestive of coronary artery disease are significantly more common among Tanzanians with HIV than those without HIV.

Keywords: HIV-infection; ischemic ECG findings; myocardial infarction; sub-Saharan Africa.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Electrocardiography
  • Female
  • HIV Infections* / complications
  • HIV Infections* / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Infarction*
  • Myocardial Ischemia* / diagnosis
  • Myocardial Ischemia* / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Prognosis
  • Tanzania / epidemiology