Cardiovascular disease (CVD) contributes significantly to HIV-related morbidity and mortality. Chronic immune activation and inflammation are thought to augment the progression of atherosclerotic disease. In this retrospective, case-control study of HIV-infected subjects, we investigated the association of traditional cardiac risk factors, HIV-related disease and inflammation with CVD events.
HIV-infected subjects who experienced an incident CVD event while enrolled in National Institutes of Health clinical protocols from 1995-2009 were matched 2:1 to HIV-infected subjects without known CVD. Markers of inflammation and cell activation were measured in serum or plasma using ELISA-based assays and peripheral mononuclear cells by four-color flow cytometry.
Fifty-two patients experienced an incident CVD event. Events were related to smoking, dyslipidemia, hyperglycemia and family history as well as D-dimer, sVCAM-1, TIMP-1, and soluble tissue factor but not hsCRP. No significant differences in antiviral therapy, CD4+ T-cell count or CD38 and HLA-DR expression were identified between cases and controls. In multivariable analysis, smoking, family history, D-dimer, and glucose were independently related to CVD risk.
In this cohort, CVD risk was related to traditional CVD risk factors and markers of thrombosis and endothelial damage but not to hsCRP or markers of T-cell activation such as CD38+/HLA-DR coexpression. D-dimer may help identify HIV-infected patients at elevated CVD risk.