Evidence of increased blood pressure and hypertension risk among people living with HIV on antiretroviral therapy: A systematic review with meta-analysis


Owing to antiretroviral drug-induced endothelial dysfunction, HIV-infected patients on antiretroviral therapy (ART) may have elevated blood pressure. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to estimate the effects of ART on blood pressure levels and hypertension risk among HIV-infected populations worldwide. We sought articles that compared the mean blood pressure measurements and hypertension prevalence between HIV-infected adults naive and exposed to ART. Thirty-nine studies comprising 44 903 participants met the inclusion criteria. Overall, systolic (mean difference (MD) 4.52 mm Hg, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2.65-6.39, I2=68.1%, 19 studies) and diastolic blood pressure levels (MD 3.17 mm Hg, 95% CI 1.71-4.64, I2=72.5%, 16 studies) were significantly higher among ART-exposed patients compared with treatment-naive patients. Similarly, the risk of hypertension was significantly higher among ART-exposed patients, such that among 28 908 ART-exposed patients, 4195 (14.5%) had hypertension compared with 950 of 9086 (10.5%) in those who were treatment-naive (odds ratio 1.68, 95% CI 1.35-2.10, I2=81.5%, 32 studies). In summary, exposure to ART is significantly associated with increased systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels, and increased risk of hypertension, regardless of study-level sociodemographic differences. This meta-analysis supports the need for population-based strategies to reduce the risk of high blood pressure among people living with HIV on ART.


Nduka CU, Stranges S, Sarki AM, Kimani PK, Uthman OA.




  • Population(s)
    • General HIV+ population
  • Engagement and Care Cascade
    • Treatment
  • Co-morbidities
    • Cardiovascular


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