Objective: To determine the association between human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and stroke among young persons.
Design: Retrospective case-control study.
Setting: Large, inner-city public hospital.
Participants: All patients aged 19 to 44 years with a diagnosis of stroke, whose HIV status was determined, admitted from January 1990 through June 1994. Controls matched for age and sex were selected from patients who were admitted during the same period for status asthmaticus whose HIV status was known.
Main outcome measure: The associations of HIV infection with all strokes and with cerebral infarction, after adjustment for other cerebrovascular risk factors, were evaluated by Mantel-Haenszel stratified analyses. The subtypes and causes of stroke in HIV-infected patients were compared with HIV-seronegative patients.
Results: The HIV infection was associated with stroke (odds ratio [OR], 2.3; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.0-5.3) and cerebral infarction (OR, 3.4; 95% CI, 1.1-8.9), after adjustment for other cerebrovascular risk factors. Among patients with stroke, cerebral infarction was more frequent in HIV-infected patients than in HIV-seronegative patients (20 [80%] of 25 vs 48 [56%] of 88, P = .04). The frequency of cerebral infarctions associated with meningitis (P < .001) and protein S deficiency (P = .06) was higher in HIV-infected patients than in seronegative patients.
Conclusions: Our study suggests that HIV infection is associated with an increased risk of stroke, particularly cerebral infarction in young patients. This risk is probably mediated by increased susceptibility of HIV-infected patients to meningitis and protein S deficiency.