Increased echocardiographic pulmonary pressure in HIV-infected and -uninfected individuals in the veterans aging cohort study

Evan L. Brittain, Meredith S. Duncan, Joyce Chang, Olga V. Patterson, Scott L. DuVall, Cynthia A. Brandt, Kaku A. So-Armah, Matthew Goetz, Kathleen Akgun, Kristina Crothers, Courtney Zola, Joon Kim, Cynthia Gibert, Margaret Pisani, Alison Morris, Priscilla Hsue, Hilary A. Tindle, Amy Justice, Matthew Freiberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Rationale: The epidemiology and prognostic impact of increased pulmonary pressure among HIV-infected individuals in the antiretroviral therapy era is not well described. Objectives: To examine the prevalence, clinical features, and outcomes of increased echocardiographic pulmonary pressure in HIV-infected and -uninfected individuals. Methods: This study evaluated 8,296 veterans referred for echocardiography with reported pulmonary artery systolic pressure (PASP) estimates from the Veterans Aging Cohort study, an observational cohort of HIV-infected and -uninfected veterans matched by age, sex, race/ethnicity, and clinical site. The primary outcome was adjusted mortality by HIV status. MeasurementsandMainResults:PASPwas reported in2,831HIVinfectedand5,465HIV- uninfectedveterans (follow-up[mean ± SD], 3.8 ± 2.6 yr). As compared with uninfected veterans, HIV-infected veterans with HIV viral load greater than 500 copies/ml (odds ratio, 1.27; 95%confidence interval [CI], 1.05-1.54) and those withCD4 cell count less than 200 cells/ml (odds ratio, 1.28; 95%CI, 1.02-1.60) had a higher prevalence ofPASPgreater than or equal to 40 mm Hg. As compared with uninfected veterans with a PASP less than 40mmHg,HIV-infected veteranswith a PASP greater than or equal to 40mmHg had an increased risk of death (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.78;95%CI, 1.57-2.01).This riskpersisted evenamongparticipants without prevalent comorbidities (adjusted hazard ratio, 3.61;95%CI, 2.17-6.01).The adjusted risk of mortality in HIV-infected veterans was higher at all PASP valuesthan inuninfectedveterans, includingat values currentlyconsidered to be normal. Conclusions: HIV-infected people with high HIV viral loads or low CD4 cell counts have a higher prevalence of increased PASP than uninfected people. Mortality risk in HIV-infected veterans increases at lower values of PASP than previously recognized and is present even among those without prevalent comorbidities. These findings may inform clinical decision-making regarding screening and surveillance of pulmonary hypertension in HIV-infected individuals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)923-932
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2018 by the American Thoracic Society.


  • Electronic health records echocardiography
  • Human immunodeficiency virus
  • Patient outcome assessment
  • Pulmonary hypertension

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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