Traditional risk factors and D-dimer predict incident cardiovascular disease events in chronic HIV infection

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Objective: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 individuals, we investigated the association of traditional cardiac risk factors, HIV-related disease, and inflammation with CVD events.Methods:HIV-infected individuals who experienced an incident CVD event while enrolled in National Institutes of Health clinical protocols from 1995 to 2009 were matched 2: 1 to HIV-infected individuals 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.Results:Fifty-two patients experienced an incident CVD event. Events were related to smoking, dyslipidemia, hyperglycemia, and family history as well as elevated D-dimer, soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule-1, tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1, and soluble tissue factor, but not high-sensitivity C-reactive protein. No significant differences in antiviral therapy, CD4+ T-cell count, or CD38 and human leukocyte antigen-DR expression were identified between patients and controls. In multivariable analysis, smoking, family history, D-dimer, and glucose were independently related to CVD risk.Conclusion:In this cohort, CVD risk was related to traditional CVD risk factors and markers of thrombosis and endothelial damage, but not to high-sensitivity C-reactive protein or markers of T-cell activation such as CD38/human leukocyte antigen-DR coexpression. D-dimer may help identify HIV-infected patients at elevated CVD risk.

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