Clinical Infectious Diseases, December 2021.
As survival among people living with HIV has improved, heart disease has become a leading cause of illness and death. While careful assessment of risk factors and health behaviors to guide medication use and lifestyle changes can reduce risk and prolong life, the accuracy of otherwise well-established heart disease risk scores has not been tested among people living with HIV. Similarly, health behaviors have not been well-categorized among people living with HIV, nor do we know how they relate to risk.
A5332 (REPRIEVE) included 7382 participants whose average age was 50, and among whom 31% were women.
REPRIEVE used the most commonly used heart disease risk score, the Pooled Cohort Equations (PCE), which uses age, sex, race, high blood pressure, diabetes, high LDL cholesterol, and smoking to predict risk. In REPRIEVE, the median score was 4.5%, which means that participants had a less than 5% chance of having a heart disease event (like a heart attack) over the next 10 years. Almost a third of participants had a risk score less than 2.5%.
Investigators also used Life’s Simple 7, which uses measures of smoking, diet, physical activity, body mass index, blood pressure, total cholesterol, and glucose to evaluate heart health. The median score was 9 (out of a possible 14). One third of participants had two or fewer ideal behaviors; only 105 (1.4%) participants had five or more ideal behaviors.
Importantly this study elucidated that the most commonly used heart disease risk score did not reflect common unhealthy behaviors among people living with HIV, including poor diet, high body mass index, and low physical activity. These behaviors were present across participants, regardless of their level of heart disease risk, suggesting that lifestyle interventions may be important to prevent heart disease among people living with HIV, and should be used to complement conventional treatment.
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