Prevention of heart failure, tachyarrhythmias and sudden cardiac death in HIV


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: To summarize the state-of-the-art literature on the epidemiology, disease progression, and mediators of heart failure, tachyarrhythmias, and sudden cardiac death in people living with HIV (PLWH) to inform prevention strategies. RECENT FINDINGS: Recent studies corroborate the role of HIV as a risk enhancer for heart failure and arrhythmias, which persists despite adjustment for cardiovascular risk factors and unhealthy behaviors. Immune activation and inflammation contribute to the risk. Heart failure occurs more frequently at younger ages, and among women and ethnic minorities living with HIV, highlighting disparities. Prospective outcome studies remain sparse in PLWH limiting prevention approaches. However, subclinical cardiac and electrophysiologic remodeling and dysfunction detected by noninvasive testing are powerful disease surrogates that inform our mechanistic understanding of HIV-associated cardiovascular disease and offer opportunities for early diagnosis. SUMMARY: Aggressive control of HIV viremia and cardiac risk factors and abstinence from unhealthy behaviors remain treatment pillars to prevent heart failure and arrhythmic complications. The excess risk among PLWH warrants heightened vigilance for heart failure and arrhythmic symptomatology and earlier testing as subclinical abnormalities are common. Future research needs include identifying novel therapeutic targets to prevent heart failure and arrhythmias and testing of interventions in diverse groups of PLWH.


Wu KC, Woldu B, Post WS, Hays AG




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


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