Coinfected Women in WIHS Study Not at Greater Risk of Atherosclerosis
HIV positive women in the Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS), those coinfected
with hepatitis C virus (HCV) were not more likely than those without HCV to have
greater carotid intima-media thickness, an indicator of early atherosclerosis,
according to a study published in the August 24, 2009 issue of AIDS.|
refers to loss of elasticity and build-up of plaque within the arteries. The condition
can affect arteries that supply the heart, leading to myocardial infarction, and
bits of plaque can lodge in arteries in the brain, causing a stroke.
studies have shown that people with
HIV have an increased risk of atherosclerosis. Other research indicates that
with chronic hepatitis C are also more likely to have coronary artery disease.
Tien and colleagues examined the relationship between HIV and HCV infection and
carotid artery intima-media thickness (thickness of the walls of the arteries
in the neck that supply the brain) and presence of carotid plaques among 1675
HIV positive and at-risk women in the WIHS cohort (950 with HIV only, 53 with
HCV only, 220 with HIV/HCV coinfection, and 452 with neither virus).
HIV/HCV coinfected women were more likely to have traditional cardiovascular risk
factors such as older age, smoking, high blood pressure, and diabetes. |
women were also less likely to be on antiretroviral therapy, had a higher HIV
viral load, and had a lower CD4 cell count.|
an initial analysis, both HIV/HCV coinfected women and those with HCV alone had
greater mean carotid intima-media thickness than women with HIV alone or neither
adjusting for traditional risk factors, however, coinfection was no longer associated
with greater carotid intima-media thickness. |
coinfected women had somewhat more plaque build-up in their arteries, but the
difference did not reach statistical significance. |
study authors concluded that further follow-up is needed to clarify whether coinfection
may be associated with a greater risk of carotid plaque accumulation.
of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, CA.
P Tien, MF Schneider, SR Cole, and others. Association of hepatitis C virus
and HIV infection with subclinical atherosclerosis in the Women's Interagency
HIV Study. AIDS 23(13):1781-1784. August 24, 2009. (Abstract).