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Am J Cardiovasc Drugs. 2004;4(5):315-24.

HIV-related cardiovascular disease and drug interactions.

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  • 1Sinai Hospital of Baltimore, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.


HIV infection is a global public health issue that is frequently associated with cardiovascular involvement. These HIV-associated cardiovascular manifestations are often clinically occult or attributed incorrectly to other non-cardiac disease processes. A heightened awareness and routine screening for cardiovascular involvement in HIV-infected patients leads to earlier detection and the hope for a reduction in associated morbidity and mortality. Left ventricular dysfunction, an independent predictor of mortality in HIV-infected patients, is the result of many causes in this population and may result in dilated cardiomyopathy and congestive heart failure in about 10% of patients. Other HIV-associated cardiovascular problems include infective endocarditis, cardiovascular malignancy, pulmonary arterial hypertension, vasculitis, pericardial effusion, premature atherosclerosis, and arrhythmias. HIV-associated cardiovascular emergencies include congestive heart failure, pulmonary edema, supraventricular and ventricular arrhythmias, endocarditis, and tamponade. Anti-infective and immunomodulatory therapies may be particularly helpful in this population to reduce associated cardiovascular disease. Highly active antiretroviral therapy may result in lipodystrophy, hyperlipidemia, truncal adiposity, and insulin resistance that can be improved by physical activity and training programs. Cardiovascular complications of therapeutic drugs in HIV-infected patients include torsade de pointes, congestive heart failure, dyslipidemia, accelerated atherosclerosis, and myocardial infarction. In summary, cardiovascular complications are important contributors to morbidity and mortality in HIV-infected patients that can be detected early in many cases and treated effectively.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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