Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California


UCLA Previously Published Works bannerUCLA

HIV infection and the risk of acute myocardial infarction.

  • Author(s): Freiberg, Matthew S;
  • Chang, Chung-Chou H;
  • Kuller, Lewis H;
  • Skanderson, Melissa;
  • Lowy, Elliott;
  • Kraemer, Kevin L;
  • Butt, Adeel A;
  • Bidwell Goetz, Matthew;
  • Leaf, David;
  • Oursler, Kris Ann;
  • Rimland, David;
  • Rodriguez Barradas, Maria;
  • Brown, Sheldon;
  • Gibert, Cynthia;
  • McGinnis, Kathy;
  • Crothers, Kristina;
  • Sico, Jason;
  • Crane, Heidi;
  • Warner, Alberta;
  • Gottlieb, Stephen;
  • Gottdiener, John;
  • Tracy, Russell P;
  • Budoff, Matthew;
  • Watson, Courtney;
  • Armah, Kaku A;
  • Doebler, Donna;
  • Bryant, Kendall;
  • Justice, Amy C
  • et al.


Whether people infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) are at an increased risk of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) compared with uninfected people is not clear. Without demographically and behaviorally similar uninfected comparators and without uniformly measured clinical data on risk factors and fatal and nonfatal AMI events, any potential association between HIV status and AMI may be confounded.


To investigate whether HIV is associated with an increased risk of AMI after adjustment for all standard Framingham risk factors among a large cohort of HIV-positive and demographically and behaviorally similar (ie, similar prevalence of smoking, alcohol, and cocaine use) uninfected veterans in care.

Design and setting

Participants in the Veterans Aging Cohort Study Virtual Cohort from April 1, 2003, through December 31, 2009.


After eliminating those with baseline cardiovascular disease, we analyzed data on HIV status, age, sex, race/ethnicity, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia, smoking, hepatitis C infection, body mass index, renal disease, anemia, substance use, CD4 cell count, HIV-1 RNA, antiretroviral therapy, and incidence of AMI.

Main outcome measure

Acute myocardial infarction.


We analyzed data on 82 459 participants. During a median follow-up of 5.9 years, there were 871 AMI events. Across 3 decades of age, the mean (95% CI) AMI events per 1000 person-years was consistently and significantly higher for HIV-positive compared with uninfected veterans: for those aged 40 to 49 years, 2.0 (1.6-2.4) vs 1.5 (1.3-1.7); for those aged 50 to 59 years, 3.9 (3.3-4.5) vs 2.2 (1.9-2.5); and for those aged 60 to 69 years, 5.0 (3.8-6.7) vs 3.3 (2.6-4.2) (P < .05 for all). After adjusting for Framingham risk factors, comorbidities, and substance use, HIV-positive veterans had an increased risk of incident AMI compared with uninfected veterans (hazard ratio, 1.48; 95% CI, 1.27-1.72). An excess risk remained among those achieving an HIV-1 RNA level less than 500 copies/mL compared with uninfected veterans in time-updated analyses (hazard ratio, 1.39; 95% CI, 1.17-1.66).

Conclusions and relevance

Infection with HIV is associated with a 50% increased risk of AMI beyond that explained by recognized risk factors.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View