Purpose of review The purpose of this review is to summarize and synthesize recent data on the risk of ischemic heart disease (IHD) in HIV-infected individuals.
Recent findings Recent studies in the field demonstrate an increasing impact of cardiovascular disease (CVD) on morbidity and mortality in HIV relative to AIDS-related diagnoses. Studies continue to support an approximately 1.5 to two-fold increased risk of IHD conferred by HIV, with specific risk varying by sex and virologic/immunologic status. Risk factors include both traditional CVD risk factors and novel, HIV-specific factors including inflammation and immune activation. Specific antiretroviral therapy (ART) drugs may increase CVD risk, yet the net effect of ART with viral suppression is beneficial with regard to CVD risk. Management of cardiovascular risk and prevention of CVD is complex, because current general population strategies target traditional CVD risk factors only. Extensive investigation is being directed at developing tailored CVD risk prediction algorithms and interventions to reduce CVD risk in HIV.
Summary Increased IHD risk is a significant clinical and public health challenge in HIV. The development and application of HIV-specific interventions to manage CVD risk factors and reduce CVD risk will improve the long-term health of this ageing population.