Objective The aim of the present study was to evaluate the determinants of HIV-related cardiac disease (HRCD) among adults in north central Nigeria. This was a hospital-based cross-sectional study recruiting patients who were HIV positive attending the HIV clinic at Jos University teaching Hospital, Nigeria.
Methods A total of 200 adults who were HIV positive and aged ≥18 years were consecutively recruited. All patients were administered a questionnaire and underwent clinical examination, laboratory investigation for haemoglobin estimation, CD4 cell count, viral load, serum lipid profile, hepatitis B surface antigen, anti-hepatitis C virus antibody, electrocardiogram and two-dimensional echocardiography Doppler studies. The outcome measure was echocardiography-defined cardiac disease, such as systolic dysfunction, diastolic dysfunction, isolated left ventricular dilatation, right ventricular dysfunction or pulmonary hypertension.
Results The mean age of the study population was 38±9 years. The majority (71%) were women and were on average younger than the men (36±8 years vs 47±9 years, p<0.0002). Highly active anti-retroviral therapy (HAART) use was seen in 84.4% of subjects. The median CD4 cell count for the study population was 358 cells/µL; the count was 459 (95% CI 321 to 550) cells/µL for subjects without HRCD and 193 (95% CI 126 to 357) cells/µL for subjects with HRCD (p<0.001). HAART-naive subjects with HRCD had a mean CD4 cell count of 121 cells/µL vs 200 cells/µL for those on HAART (p<0.01). CD4 cell count (OR = 0.25, 95% CI 0.15 to 0.45) and duration of diagnosis (OR=3.88, 95% CI 1.20 to 13.71) were the significant determinants of HRCD on multivariate analysis.
Conclusions Duration of HIV diagnosis and degree of immunosuppression were the significant determinants of HRCD. There is therefore a need to reduce cardiovascular morbidity in patients infected with HIV through early diagnosis/sustained use of HAART, early screening for HRCD and prompt intervention.
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