Cardiovascular disease risk in women living with HIV


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: To synthesize current evidence on the impact of cardiovascular disease among women living with HIV (WLWH) with a particular focus on disease prevalence, mechanisms and prevention. RECENT FINDINGS: HIV-related cardiovascular disease risk is 1.5-fold to 2-fold higher for women than for men. Mechanisms of enhanced risk are multifactorial and include reinforcing pathways between traditional risk factors, metabolic dysregulation, early reproductive aging and chronic immune activation. These pathways influence both the presentation of overt syndromes of myocardial infarction, stroke and heart failure, as well as subclinical disease, such as microvascular dysfunction and cardiac fibrosis. Cardiovascular disease, therefore, remains a consistent threat to healthy aging among WLWH. SUMMARY: Although no specific prevention strategies exist, patient-centered risk mitigation approaches that are adaptable to the needs of aging individuals are essential to combat disparities in cardiovascular outcomes among WLWH. Further research into the optimal prevention approach for CVD among WLWH, particularly for women living in under-resourced health systems, is needed.


Kentoffio K, Temu TM, Shakil SS, Zanni MV, Longenecker CT




  • Population(s)
    • Women
    • General HIV+ population
  • Co-morbidities
    • Cardiovascular


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