Prevalence and risk factors associated with pulmonary hypertension in HIV-infected patients on regular follow-up

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Background:Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is uncommon among HIV-positive patients. However, it is a potentially life-threatening condition. Transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) is a noninvasive tool validated for PAH screening. The aim of our study was to establish the prevalence and factors associated with PAH in HIV-infected patients.Methods:Consecutive HIV-infected individuals attended at one HIV reference clinic in Madrid, Spain, during year 2011 were examined. Demographics and clinical data were recorded and a Doppler echocardiography was performed in all individuals. PAH was considered when right ventricular pressure was more than 35 mmHg (mild if <40 mmHg, moderate if 40–65 mmHg, and severe if >65 mmHg).Results:Three hundred and ninety-two individuals were examined (83.4% men, median age 47 years, 53% were men who have sex with men and 53% former intravenous drug addicts). Overall, 84% were on HAART, 76% had undetectable HIV viral load and median CD4 cell counts were 577 cells/μl. Cardiovascular risk factors were smoking 50%, arterial hypertension 16% and diabetes mellitus 9%. A total of 28.5 and 4.8% had chronic hepatitis C (CHC) and 4.8% chronic hepatitis B, respectively. PAH was diagnosed in 9.9% of patients (6.4% mild, 2.8% moderate and 0.8% severe). Multivariate logistic regression analysis [odds ratio (OR), 95% confidence interval (CI)] showed that detectable plasma HIV-RNA [OR, 3.3; 95% CI, 1.04–10], CHC [OR, 3.1; 95% CI 1.2–8.2] and female sex [OR, 2.9; 95% CI, 1.04–8.3] were independently associated with PAH.Conclusion:The prevalence of PAH HIV-infected patients on regular follow-up approaches 10%, being moderate–severe in nearly 4% of cases. Patients with CHC and/or uncontrolled HIV replication exhibit a higher risk of PAH.

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