Brief Report: Prevalence of Peripheral Artery Disease Is Higher in Persons Living With HIV Compared With Uninfected Controls

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Abstract

Objective:

Ankle–brachial index is an excellent tool for diagnosing peripheral artery disease (PAD). We aimed to determine the prevalence and risk factors for PAD in people living with HIV (PLWH) compared with uninfected controls. We hypothesized that prevalence of PAD would be higher among PLWH than among controls independent of traditional cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors.

Methods:

PLWH aged 40 years and older were recruited from the Copenhagen comorbidity in HIV infection (COCOMO) study. Sex- and age-matched uninfected controls were recruited from the Copenhagen General Population Study. We defined PAD as ankle–brachial index ≤0.9 and assessed risk factors for PAD using logistic regression adjusting for age, sex, smoking status, dyslipidemia, diabetes, hypertension, and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein.

Results:

Among 908 PLWH and 11,106 controls, PAD was detected in 112 [12% confidence interval: (95% 10 to 14)] and 623 [6% (95% 5 to 6)], respectively (P < 0.001), odds ratio = 2.4 (95% 1.9 to 2.9), and adjusted odds ratio = 1.8 (95% 1.3 to 2.3, P < 0.001). Traditional CVD risk factors, but not HIV-related variables, were associated with PAD. The strength of the association between PAD and HIV tended to be higher with older age (P = 0.052, adjusted test for interaction).

Conclusions:

Prevalence of PAD is higher among PLWH compared with uninfected controls, especially among older persons, and remains so after adjusting for traditional CVD risk factors. Our findings expand the evidence base that PLWH have excess arterial disease to also include PAD. The exact biological mechanisms causing this excess risk remain to be elucidated. Until then, focus on management of modifiable traditional risk factors is important.

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