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Association of Cumulative Viral Load With the Incidence of Hypertension and Diabetes in People With HIV

Rivera AS, Rusie L, Plank M, Siddique J, Beach LB, Lloyd-Jones DM, Feinstein MJ.


Background: HIV induces several metabolic derangements that contribute to cardiovascular disease, but it is unclear if HIV increases diabetes or hypertension risk. Refining longitudinal relationships between HIV-specific factors and cardiovascular disease risk factors across different care settings may help inform cardiovascular disease prevention among people with HIV (PWH).

Methods: We tested the hypothesis that long-term higher cumulative viral load (viremia-copy-year) is associated with higher risk of diabetes and hypertension by analyzing electronic records of PWH from 2 distinct health systems in Chicago (Northwestern Medicine and Howard Brown Health Care) receiving care in 2004 to 2019. We used joint longitudinal-survival models to assess multivariable-adjusted associations. Subgroup analyses per site were also conducted.

Results: We observed 230 (3.0%) incident diabetes cases in 7628 PWH without baseline diabetes and 496 (6.7%) hypertension cases in 7450 PWH without baseline hypertension. Pooled analysis showed a direct association of viremia-copy-year with incident hypertension (hazards ratio, 1.20 [95% CI, 1.14-1.26]) but not with diabetes (hazards ratio, 1.03 [95% CI, 0.96-1.10]). However, site-specific differences existed whereby the Northwestern-only analysis demonstrated a significant association of viremia-copy-year with hypertension (hazards ratio, 1.29 [95% CI, 1.08-1.32]). Additionally, higher social deprivation index (both sites) and diagnosis of mental health disorder (Howard Brown Health only) was associated with higher diabetes and hypertension risk.

Conclusions: Cumulative viral load may be associated with incident hypertension among PWH. Associations of HIV control with cardiovascular disease risk factors among PWH may differ by health care system context.

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