Elevated Framingham risk score in HIV-positive patients on highly active antiretroviral therapy: results from a Norwegian study of 721 subjects

  • B. M. Bergersen
  • L. Sandvik
  • J. N. Bruun
  • S. Tonstad


Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) may induce dyslipidemia and thus increase the risk of future cardiovascular heart disease (CHD). In this cross-sectional study performed in 2000–2001, the prevalence of a Framingham CHD risk score of >20% in HIV-positive individuals treated or not treated with HAART was compared with that in age- and gender-matched controls. The study included 721 subjects: 219 HIV-positive individuals on HAART, 64 HIV-positive, HAART-naïve individuals, and 438 age- and gender-matched controls randomly selected from a simultaneous health survey. The prevalence of a 10-year estimated CHD risk of >20% was 11.9% in patients on HAART compared to 5.3% in controls (P=0.004). The main contributors to the increased CHD risk in patients on HAART were increased prevalence of daily smoking (54.5% vs 30.1%; P<0.001), total cholesterol of >6.2 mmol/l (36.1% vs 21.7%; P<0.001), and HDL cholesterol of < 0.9 mmol/l (20.9% vs 8.0%; P<0.001). In HAART-naïve patients, the prevalence of a 10-year estimated CHD risk of >20% was 6.3% (P=0.25 vs HAART patients, P=0.76 vs controls), the prevalence of daily smoking was 56.3% (P=0.89 vs HAART patients, P<0.001 vs controls), the prevalence of total cholesterol >6.2 mmol/l was 9.4% (P<0.001 vs HAART patients, P=0.019 vs controls), and the prevalence of HDL cholesterol of <0.9 mmol/l was 30.9% (P=0.16 vs HAART patients, P<0.001 vs controls). The results show that, compared to controls, twice as many patients on HAART have an estimated 10-year CHD risk above 20%. These patients are candidates for intensive interventions. HAART patients should be encouraged to permanently stop smoking, make healthy food choices, and increase physical activity. In patients with elevated lipid levels, a change in the HAART regimen or treatment with lipid-lowering drugs should be considered.


Framingham Risk Score Daily Smoking Cardiovascular Heart Disease Elevated Lipid Level Oslo Health Study 
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The authors wish to thank Anne Johanne Søgaard and Harald Arnesen for valuable comments on the manuscript and Arve Sjølingstad for helpful assistance with data from the Oslo Health Study 2000–2001.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. M. Bergersen
    • 1
  • L. Sandvik
    • 2
  • J. N. Bruun
    • 1
  • S. Tonstad
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Infectious DiseasesUllevål University HospitalOsloNorway
  2. 2.Centre for Clinical ResearchUllevål University HospitalOsloNorway
  3. 3.Department of Preventive CardiologyUllevål University HospitalOsloNorway

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