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Cardiology Research and Practice
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 302638, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/302638
Review Article

Cardiovascular Complications of HIV-Associated Immune Dysfunction

1Department of Internal Medicine, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Amarillo, TX 79106, USA
2Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Amarillo, TX 79106, USA
3Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Amarillo, TX 79106, USA

Received 5 November 2014; Accepted 27 December 2014

Academic Editor: H. A. Katus

Copyright © 2015 Akram M. Zaaqoq et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Prolonged survival in HIV infection is accompanied by an increased frequency of non-HIV-related comorbidities. It is suggested that cardiovascular diseases (CVD) occur earlier among HIV-positive patients compared with HIV-negative patients, and at a higher rate. Several factors have been proposed which can be categorized into traditional and nontraditional risk factors. Immune dysfunction is a nontraditional risk factor that contributes significantly to cardiovascular pathology. Markers of inflammation are elevated in HIV-infected patients, and elevations in markers such as high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, D-dimer, and interleukin-6 (IL-6) have been associated with increased risk for cardiovascular disease. However, the data currently suggest the most practical advice is to start antiretroviral therapy early and to manage traditional risk factors for CVD aggressively. A better understanding of the mechanisms of CVD in this population and further efforts to modify chronic inflammation remain an important research area.