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Curr Opin HIV AIDS. 2008 May;3(3):214-9. doi: 10.1097/COH.0b013e3282f6a613.

Conventional cardiovascular risk factors in HIV infection: how conventional are they?

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HIV Epidemiology and Biostatistics Unit, Department of Primary Care and Population Sciences, Royal Free and UC Medical School, London NW32PF, UK.



To describe the prevalence of traditional cardiovascular disease risk factors in HIV-infected individuals and to describe the impact of these factors outcomes.


Patients living with HIV in the developed world are ageing and a large number are male. As would be expected for a population of this age, many individuals report a family history of cardiovascular disease, a small proportion have already experienced a cardiovascular event and an increasing proportion has type 2 diabetes mellitus. Smoking rates range from 35 to 72%, and an increasing proportion of HIV-infected individuals have dyslipidaemia. Studies suggest that these traditional risk factors will play as important a role in the development of cardiovascular disease in these individuals as in the general population. Thus, whilst the predicted 10-year cardiovascular disease risk remains relatively low at present, it is likely to increase as this population survives to older ages. Despite treatment guidelines recommending interventions to prevent cardiovascular disease in these individuals, uptake of such interventions is low.


Due to the high prevalence of traditional cardiovascular disease risk factors, HIV-infected individuals will be at increased risk of the disease as they age. Measures to prevent further development of cardiovascular disease should be initiated in this group.

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