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J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis. 2017 Jun;26(6):1197-1203. doi: 10.1016/j.jstrokecerebrovasdis.2017.01.006. Epub 2017 Feb 8.

Epidemiology of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome and Cerebrovascular Disease in a Post Antiretroviral Era.

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Detroit Medical Center and World AIDS Day Detroit, Ferndale, Michigan.
Michigan Stroke Network, Saint Joseph Mercy Oakland, Pontiac, Michigan. Electronic address:



People with acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) develop ischemic stroke through distinct mechanisms. These include infections such as syphilis, tuberculosis, varicella, and other conditions such as cocaine abuse, endocarditis, and hypercoagulability. The effect of improved awareness, detection, and treatment with highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) on the incidence and outcome of AIDS patients with stroke is unknown.


Data from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample from 1995 to 2010 were analyzed. Patients with ischemic stroke and AIDS were identified using ICD-9 (International Classification of Diseases) codes. Time trends for demographics, survival, and frequency of AIDS-associated conditions were analyzed.


Proportion of AIDS among stroke patients increased significantly during the study. Median age of all strokes decreased from 75 years in 1995 to 72 years in 2010. Conversely, median age for men with stroke and AIDS increased from 43 years to 53 years; and for women with stroke and AIDS, from 41 years to 51 years. Death rates from stroke in the AIDS patients declined. In recent years, the death rates from stroke are similar to patients without HIV/AIDS. Stroke patients with AIDS had increased odds of syphilis (odds ratio [OR]: 33.50), varicella (OR: 48.34), tuberculosis (OR: 137.48), endocarditis (OR: 5.19), cocaine abuse (OR: 26.05), and hypercoagulability (OR: 4.82).


In the HAART era, the median age of incident stroke in AIDS has increased and the mortality from stroke has improved. Research should focus on optimal management of dyslipidemia while on HAART. Whether HAART can reduce the incidence and improve survival of stroke needs to be explored.


AIDS; HAART; Ischemic stroke; epidemiology; trends

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