People with both HIV and cardiovascular problems receive inferior cardiovascular care when compared to the patients without HIV, according to a recent study.
The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Health Sciences researchers believe this to be the first national study comparing statin use in patients with and without HIV and the first extensive analysis using US data.
The researchers analyzed data from a nationally representative sample of HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected patients ages 40 to 79 in the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey/National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey from 2006 to 2013.
They found that 5.1 percent of HIV-positive adults received aspirin/antiplatelet therapy for primary prevention or cardiovascular disease, while 13.8 percent of HIV-negative adults received such therapy.
For patients who had diabetes, cardiovascular disease or dyslipidemia (abnormally elevated cholesterol or fats in the blood), the percentage of visits that included statin therapy was 23.6 percent for HIV-positive adults compared to 35.8 percent for HIV-negative adults.
Researchers also found less significant differences in antihypertensive medication therapy (53.4 percent for HIV-positive adults compared to 58.6 percent for HIV-negative adults), diet/exercise counseling (14.9 percent compared to 16.9 percent), and smoking cessation advice/pharmacotherapy (18.8 percent compared to 22.4 percent).
This study provides evidence that US policymakers and professional societies should focus on improving the quality of the cardiovascular care that people who are HIV-positive receive.
The study is published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.