Blood pressure and mortality in a prospective cohort of HIV-infected adults in Port-au-Prince, Haiti

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Objective:The objective of this study was to determine how baseline blood pressure and incident hypertension related to antiretroviral therapy (ART) initiation, HIV-related inflammation and mortality in HIV-infected adults in a low-income country.Methods:We conducted long-term follow-up of HIV-infected adults who had participated in a trial of early vs. delayed initiation of ART in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Between 2005 and 2008, 816 HIV-infected adults were randomized to early (N = 408) vs. delayed ART (when CD4+ cell count <200 cells/μl or AIDS-defining condition; N = 408). Blood pressure was measured every 3 months. Hypertension was diagnosed according to the Joint National Committee (JNC-7) guidelines. Biomarkers of inflammation and coagulation were measured from banked enrolment plasma samples. Survival analyses were performed using Stata 14.Results:The median age at enrolment was 39 years. The median follow-up time was 7.3 years. The hypertension incidence rate was 3.41 per 100 person-years, and was similar in early and delayed ART groups. In multivariable models, independent predictors of incident hypertension were older age, higher BMI and plasma interleukin (IL)-6 levels (adjusted hazard ratio, aHR = 1.23, P < 0.001). Systolic pressure more than 140 mmHg at enrolment was associated with increased mortality (aHR = 2.47, P = 0.03) as was systolic pressure less than 90 mmHg (aHR = 2.25, P = 0.04). Prevalent and incident hypertension were also significantly associated with mortality.Conclusion:In a large prospective study of HIV-infected adults, we found a high incidence of hypertension associated with HIV-related inflammation. Baseline hypertension conferred a more than two-fold increased risk of death. Among HIV-infected adults in low-income countries, hypertension should be considered a serious threat to long-term survival.

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