A recent study has found the prevalence for high blood pressure was “a potentially alarming” 20% among a cohort of children with HIV, reports Healio. “The explanation for this finding is unclear, but even if it is due to comorbid conditions, the lifelong cardiovascular risks associated with HIV infection and its management mandate the need for closer monitoring and possibly treatment of elevated blood pressure in this population,” Dr Sam Chatterton-Kirchmeier of Emory University School of Medicine, and colleagues wrote.
The researchers used a retrospective chart review to examine the prevalence of and risk factors for high blood pressure among 107 children(mean age, 13 years) and 159 young adults (mean age, 21 years) with HIV. Nearly 90% were African-American, and 57.1% were male.
Among children aged 2 and 17 years, 19.6% had high blood pressure vs. 16.3% of young adults and 17.7% of the overall cohort. The prevalence for pre-high blood pressure was 47.8% among young adults vs. 15% among children.
Compared with 16.2% of patients without comorbidities thought to increase blood pressure, 34.9% of patients with polycystic ovarian syndrome, obstructive sleep apnoea or cocaine exposure had high blood pressure (P = .01). In addition, male gender (P < .001) and tobacco use (P = .005) were associated with elevated blood pressure. Conversely, patients with higher HIV-1 RNA levels and those who used ART were not associated with high blood pressure.
“We conclude that HIV infection or a disease-related feature may be a risk factor for early-onset of elevated blood pressure in perinatally or horizontally HIV-infected children, adolescents and young adults, particularly in a predominantly African-American cohort,” the researchers wrote.
In addition, the researchers recommended that physicians more closely monitor blood pressure measures, counsel prevention of other cardiovascular disease risk factors and adhere to guideline recommendations.