Cardiology Encounters for Underrepresented Racial and Ethnic Groups with Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Borderline Cardiovascular Disease Risk

J Racial Ethn Health Disparities. 2024 Jun;11(3):1509-1519. doi: 10.1007/s40615-023-01627-0. Epub 2023 May 9.


Background: Underrepresented racial and ethnic groups (UREGs) with HIV have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) compared with the general population. Referral to a cardiovascular specialist improves CVD risk factor management in high-risk individuals. However, patient and provider factors impacting the likelihood of UREGs with HIV to have an encounter with a cardiologist are unknown.

Methods: We evaluated a cohort of UREGs with HIV and borderline CVD risk (10-year risk ≥ 5% by the pooled cohort equations or ≥ 7.5% by Framingham risk score). Participants received HIV-related care from 2014-2020 at four academic medical centers in the United States (U.S.). Adjusted Cox proportional hazards regression was used to estimate the association of patient and provider characteristics with time to first ambulatory cardiology encounter.

Results: A total of 2,039 people with HIV (PWH) and borderline CVD risk were identified. The median age was 45 years (IQR: 36-50); 52% were female; and 94% were Black. Of these participants, 283 (14%) had an ambulatory visit with a cardiologist (17% of women vs. 11% of men, p < .001). In fully adjusted models, older age, higher body mass index (BMI), atrial fibrillation, multimorbidity, urban residence, and no recent insurance were associated with a greater likelihood of an encounter with a cardiologist.

Conclusion: In UREGs with HIV and borderline CVD risk, the strongest determinants of a cardiology encounter were diagnosed CVD, insurance type, and urban residence. Future research is needed to determine the extent to which these encounters impact CVD care practices and outcomes in this population.

Trial registration: Identifier: NCT04025125.

Keywords: Cardiovascular disease; HIV; Referral and consultation; Risk factors; Underrepresented racial and ethnic groups.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / ethnology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Ethnic and Racial Minorities / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • HIV Infections* / ethnology
  • Heart Disease Risk Factors
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • United States / epidemiology

Associated data