n South African Medical Journal - Cardiometabolic markers to identify cardiovascular disease risk in HIV-infected black South Africans : research

Volume 104, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0256-9574
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5135



The prevalence of HIV is the highest in sub-Saharan Africa; South Africa (SA) is one of the most affected countries with the highest number of adults living with HIV infection in the world. Besides the traditional risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD) in the general population, in people living with HIV there are specific factors - chronic inflammation, metabolic changes associated with the infection, therapy, and lipodystrophy - that potentially increase the risk for developing CVD.

This study proposes a screening discriminant model to identify the most important risk factors for the development of CVD in a cohort of 140 HIV-infected black Africans from the North West Province, SA.
Anthropometric measures, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure and the carotid-dorsalis pedis pulse wave velocity were determined. Blood was analysed to determine the levels of total cholesterol (TC), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides (TGs) and glucose. Partial least squares discriminant analysis was performed as a supervised pattern recognition method. Independent Student's t-tests were further employed to compare the means of risk factors on interval scales; for comparison of categorical risk factors between groups, X2 tests were used.
A TG:HDL-C ratio ≥1.49, TC:HDL-C ratio ≥5.4 and an HDL-C level ≤0.76 mmol/l indicated CVD risk in this cohort of patients living with HIV.
The results have important health implications for black Africans living with HIV as these lipid levels may be a useful indicator of the risk for CVD.

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