With potent antiretroviral drugs, HIV infection is becoming a chronic disease. Emergence of comorbidities, particularly cardiovascular disease (CVD) has become a leading concern for patients living with the infection. We hypothesized that the chronic and persistent inflammation and immune activation associated with HIV disease leads to accelerated aging, characterized by CVD. This will translate into higher incidence rates of CVD in HIV infected participants, when compared to HIV negative participants, after adjustment for traditional CVD risk factors. When characterized further using cardiovascular imaging, biomarkers, immunological and genetic profiles, CVD associated with HIV will show different characteristics compared to CVD in HIV-negative individuals.
The Canadian HIV and Aging cohort is a prospective, controlled cohort study funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. It will recruit patients living with HIV who are aged 40 years or older or have lived with HIV for 15 years or more. A control population, frequency matched for age, sex, and smoking status, will be recruited from the general population. Patients will attend study visits at baseline, year 1, 2, 5 and 8. At each study visit, data on complete medical and pharmaceutical history will be captured, along with anthropometric measures, a complete physical examination, routine blood tests and electrocardiogram. Consenting participants will also contribute blood samples to a research biobank. The primary outcome is incidence of a composite of: myocardial infarction, coronary revascularization, stroke, hospitalization for angina or congestive heart failure, revascularization or amputation for peripheral artery disease, or cardiovascular death. Preplanned secondary outcomes are all-cause mortality, incidence of the metabolic syndrome, incidence of type 2 diabetes, incidence of renal failure, incidence of abnormal bone mineral density and body fat distribution. Patients participating to the cohort will be eligible to be enrolled in four pre-planned sub-studies of cardiovascular imaging, glucose metabolism, immunological and genetic risk profile.
The Canadian HIV and Aging Cohort will provide insights on pathophysiological pathways leading to premature CVD for patients living with HIV.