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Enferm Infecc Microbiol Clin. 2011 Nov;29(9):672-8. doi: 10.1016/j.eimc.2011.07.006. Epub 2011 Sep 9.

[Asymptomatic peripheral arterial disease detected by the ankle-brachial index in HIV-infected patients: prevalence and associated risk factors].

[Article in Spanish]

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Unidad de Enfermedades Infecciosas, Servicio de Medicina Interna, Hospital Universitario de Fuenlabrada, Fuenlabrada, Madrid, España.



Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection has been associated with a higher risk of subclinical atherosclerosis and cardiovascular events. Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is a good marker of systemic atherosclerosis and a powerful predictor of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of asymptomatic PAD and associated risk factors in HIV-infected people.


Cross-sectional study was conducted on all consecutive HIV-positive patients older than 20 years without symptoms of intermittent claudication who attended our clinic between November 2008 and December 2009. PAD was assessed by measuring the ankle-brachial index (ABI) at rest. To define PAD, an ABI ≤ 0.90 was used. Main epidemiological and clinical characteristics of the HIV infection and cardiovascular risk factors (CVRF) were recorded.


Two hundred and five patients were evaluated (66.8% male), with a mean age of 41 years and there was a median of 2 CVRF (63.9% smokers). Prevalence of asymptomatic PAD (ABI ≤ 0.90) was 6.3% (n=13). There was only 1 patient with a high ABI (>1.40). In the multivariate analysis, factors significantly associated with PAD were overweight (adjusted odds ratio [ORadj] 4.21; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.00-18.78), obesity (ORadj 5.76; 95% CI 1.17-28.37) and clinical stage C of HIV infection (ORadj 2.95; 95% CI 1.00-9.83).


Prevalence of asymptomatic PAD in a relatively young HIV-infected cohort is similar to that observed in the uninfected middle-aged adult population. Overweight, obesity and advanced clinical stage of HIV infection (AIDS-defining conditions) were identified as independent risk factors for PAD.

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