HIV Infection Is Not Associated With Aortic Stiffness. Traditional Cardiovascular Risk Factors Are the Main Determinants—Cross-sectional Results of INI-ELSA-BRASIL

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Aortic stiffness measured by carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (cf-PWV) is a marker of subclinical atherosclerosis. We propose to assess whether HIV infection is associated with arterial stiffness and their determinants in HIV-infected subjects.


We compared data from an HIV cohort (644 patients, HIV+) in Rio de Janeiro with 2 groups: 105 HIV-negative (HIV−) individuals and 14,873 participants of the ELSA-Brasil study. We used multivariable linear regression to investigate factors associated with cf-PWV and whether HIV was independently associated with aortic stiffness and propensity score weighting to control for imbalances between groups.


From 15,860 participants, cf-PWV was obtained in 15,622 (98.5%). Median age was 51 (interquartile range 45–58), 44.41 (35.73, 54.72), and 43.60 (36.01, 50.79) years (P < 0.001), and median cf-PWV (m/s; interquartile range) was 9.0 (8.10, 10.20), 8.70 (7.90, 10.20), and 8.48 (7.66, 9.40) for ELSA-Brasil, HIV− and HIV+, respectively (P < 0.001). In the final weighted multivariable models, HIV group was not associated with cf-PWV when compared either with ELSA-Brasil [β = −0.05; 95% confidence interval (CI) = −0.23; P = 0.12; P = 0.52] or with the HIV- groups (β = 0.10; 95% CI = −0.10; 0, 31; P = 0.32). Traditional risk factors were associated with higher cf-PWV levels in the HIV+ group, particularly waist-to-hip ratio (β = 0.20; 95% CI = 0.10; 0.30; P < 0.001, result per one SD change).


HIV infection was not associated with higher aortic stiffness according to our study. In HIV-infected subjects, the stiffness of large arteries is mainly associated with traditional risk factors and not to the HIV infection per se.

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