Prevalence and impact of HIV infections in patients with rheumatic heart disease: A systematic review and meta-analysis


Socioeconomic factors such as poor health and poor nutrition in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) may favour inflammatory reactions, thus contributing to the recurrence of rheumatic fever (RF) and thereby modifying trends in rheumatic heart disease (RHD). Apart from epidemiological studies, studies of HIV infections in RHD patients are limited. This systematic review synthesises data on the prevalence and impact of HIV infections or AIDS on RHD from PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science databases up to April 2021. The outcomes were managed using PRISMA guidelines.

Of a total of 15 studies found, 10 were eligible for meta-analyses. Meta-analysis found that 17% (95 % CI 8–33, I2 = 91%) of adults in cardiovascular disease (CVD) cohorts in Southern Africa are HIV positive. The proportion of RHD diagnosed among people living with HIV was 4% (95% CI 2–8, I2 = 79%) for adults but lower [2% (95% CI 1–4, I2 = 87%)] among perinatally infected children. Despite limited reporting, HIV-infected patients with RHD are prone to other infections that may enhance cardiac complications due to poor immunological control.


Lumngwena EN, Mokaila D, Aremu O, Katoto PD, Blackburn J, Zilla P, Wiysonge CS, Ntusi N




  • Epidemiology and Determinants of Health
    • Epidemiology
  • Population(s)
    • General HIV+ population
  • Co-morbidities
    • Cardiovascular


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