Quantifying the burden of cardiovascular diseases among people living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa: findings from a modeling study for Uganda
Kawungezi, Peter C.
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The burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) is rapidly increasing in low- and middle-income countries, but remains largely unknown among people living with HIV (PLWH) in most sub-Saharan African countries. Methods We estimated the proportion of PLWH in Uganda with raised blood pressure and high total cholesterol, and used a modified cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk prediction model (Globorisk) to assess the 10-year risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease using individual-level data on cardiometabolic risk factors, population-level data on HIV prevalence and ART coverage, and the impact of HIV on blood pressure and cholesterol. Results Among PLWH aged 30 to 69 years, the prevalence of raised blood pressure was 30% (95% uncertainty range, UR=27-33%) in women and 26% in men (95% UR=23-29%). The predicted mean 10-year CVD risk was 5% for HIV-infected women, and 6% for HIV-infected men. Five percent (n=41,000) of PLWH may experience a CVD event from 2016 to 2025 with an estimated 38% of these events being fatal. Full ART coverage would have little effect on the predicted number of CVD cases. Conclusions Despite having a high prevalence of raised blood pressure, the burden of atherosclerotic CVD among PLWH in Uganda remains low. ART programs should prioritize routine screening and treatment of raised blood pressure. An approach of using HIV treatment delivery platforms to deliver care for NCDs may miss the larger burden of disease among HIV-uninfected individuals that are not routinely seen at health facilities.
- Medical and Health Sciences