HIV infection can put you at a higher risk of developing heart failure and stroke, reports a new study.
A Journal of the American Heart Association analysis of information from a large health insurance database reveals that people living with HIV have an elevated risk of developing cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), particularly heart failure and stroke. The findings indicate that increased efforts to protect patients' cardiovascular health are needed.
For the study, researchers analyzed information on 19,798 people living with HIV and 59,302 age- and sex-matched uninfected individuals who were followed for an average of 20 months. People living with HIV had 3.2-times and 2.7-times higher risks of heart failure and stroke, respectively.
"Our findings reinforce the importance of primary prevention of cardiovascular disease through control of risk factors such as high blood pressure or smoking in persons living with HIV," said lead author Alvaro Alonso, MD, Ph.D., of Emory University, in Atlanta.