Gaps Exist Between Perceived and Actual CVD Risk in People with HIV


Perceived and actual risk of cardiovascular disease is only weakly associated in people living with HIV. An analysis reveals that provider CVD risk discussion is significantly associated with perception of CVD susceptibility.

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) can be a serious comorbid condition for people living with HIV, who are twice as likely to develop CVD compared to those without HIV.

The proliferation of CVD prevention behavior is limited by a disparity between perceived and actual risk of developing the condition among people living with HIV. Perceived risk is currently only weakly associated with actual risk.

An analysis presented in an oral abstract session at the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care Conference (ANAC 2019) sought to explore which factors influence CVD risk perception in order to help health systems develop more effective interventions for people living with HIV.

Abstract authors explored whether demographic and health variables impacting perceived CVD risk in people without HIV infection are also associated with perceived risk among people who are living with HIV.

A total of 105 individuals living with HIV were included in the analysis. The sample was composed of people living with HIV who had not experienced a prior cardiac event and who had achieved sustained viral suppression. Over a third of participants were clinically obese and 43% were active smokers. More participants were male, with 71 male participants and 34 female participants. African American participants accounted for 82 of those included.

Mean standard deviation (SD) scores for CVD susceptibility were 10.0 (4.1) and for CVD severity 10.7 (3.8). Bivariate analysis revealed that only provider CVD risk discussion was significantly associated with perceived CVD susceptibility. No factor evaluated was significantly associated with perceived CVD severity.

The abstract authors determined that perceived CVD risk seemed to be influenced by different factors among people living with HIV than among the general population, and suggested additional research to determine factors which bring CVD risk perception closer to actual risk. Based on their research, study authors suggested nurses and other health care providers include discussions of CVD risk in their routine health promotion activities.

The abstract, Exploring Factors Associated with Perceived Cardiovascular Disease Risk in People Living with HIV, was presented in an oral abstract session at ANAC 2019 in Portland, Oregon.

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