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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2011  |  Volume : 134  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 898-903

Human immunodeficiency virus & cardiovascular risk


1 Department of Medical Pathophysiology, University "La Sapienza", Rome, Italy
2 Department of Infectious & Parasitic Diseases, Fondazione Policlinico S. Matteo, Pavia, Italy

Correspondence Address:
Giuseppe Barbaro
Viale Anicio Gallo 63, 00174 Rome
Italy
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0971-5916.92634

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Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) significantly changed the prevalence of the cardiovascular manifestations of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/AIDS. In developed countries, a 30 per cent reduction in the prevalence of cardiomyopathy and pericardial effusion was observed, possibly related to a reduction of opportunistic infections and myocarditis. In developing countries, however, where the availablity of HAART is limited, and the pathogenic impact of nutritional factors is significant, a 32 per cent increase was seen in the prevalence of cardiomyopathy and related high mortality rate from congestive heart failure. Also, some HAART regimens in developed countries, especially those including protease inhibitors, may cause, in a high proportion of HIV-infected patients, a lipodystrophy syndrome that is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular events related to a process of accelerated atherosclerosis. Careful cardiac screening is warranted for patients who are being evaluated for, or who are receiving HAART regimens, particularly for those with known underlying cardiovascular risk factors, according to the most recent clinical guidelines.


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