HIV as a risk factor for cardiac disease in Botswana: a cross-sectional study

Type Journal Article - International health
Title HIV as a risk factor for cardiac disease in Botswana: a cross-sectional study
Volume 4
Issue 1
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2012
Page numbers 30-37
The primary objective of this study was to assess how HIV has influenced the spectrum
of heart diseases in Botswana and to examine the HIV prevalence among patients with
cardiomegaly. The secondary objective was to evaluate the value of the cardiothoracic
(CT) ratio on chest radiography (CXR) as a screening tool for cardiac disease. In total, 179
patients (age 14–97 years) with cardiomegaly (all CT ratios >0.53 on CXR) and known HIV
status were referred to Botswana’s sole hospital-based echocardiographic centre. Clinical
examination and echocardiography were performed. Cardiomyopathy (36.9%), pericarditis
(21.2%), hypertensive heart disease (14.0%), rheumatic heart disease (8.4%) and right-sided
heart failure (6.7%) were the main causes of cardiomegaly; only two patients had a normal
echocardiogram. The HIV prevalence was higher than in the general population [59% vs
25%; relative risk (RR) of HIV infection compared with the general population 2.4, 95% CI
2.1–2.7]. HIV infection was strongly associated with pericarditis (RR 3.3, 95% CI 2.8–3.8)
and cardiomyopathy (RR 2.9, 95% CI 2.4–3.5). These data suggest an increased risk of nonischaemic
heart disease, in particular pericarditis and cardiomyopathy, among HIV-infected
patients. The CT ratio on CXR had high specificity in detecting severe heart disease and can
be a useful screening tool in areas with limited resources

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