Increased Cardiovascular Disease Risk Frequent in HIV-Infected Teens

Published Online: Thursday, February 20, 2014
A significant proportion of teens who were perinatally infected with HIV are at an increased risk for developing atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, according to a recent study published online on December 23, 2013, in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

HIV-infected adolescents may be more likely to develop cardiovascular disease, due to long-term exposure to HIV and antiretroviral therapy. To test this theory, the study enrolled 165 teenagers with HIV and used the Pathobiological Determinant of Atherosclerosis in Youth (PDAY) to calculate their risk of having an advanced atherosclerotic lesion in the coronary arteries and abdominal aorta.

The PDAY scores indicated that 48% of the adolescents were at an elevated risk for lesion in the coronary arteries and 24% were at an elevated risk for lesion in the abdominal aorta. Teens who had a history of an AIDS-defining condition and those who had used a boosted protease inhibitor longer were more likely to have an increased risk for both coronary artery and abdominal aorta lesions.

Although the study was limited by a small sample size and the inability to confirm PDAY scores with noninvasive assessments of cardiovascular disease or events, the authors conclude that PDAY scores may help to identify highrisk adolescents who may benefit from early interventions.

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