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Age at Diagnosis of Heart Failure in United States Veterans With and Without HIV Infection.

Erqou S, Jiang L, Choudhary G, Lally M, Freiberg M, Lin NH, Shireman TI, Rudolph JL, Wu WC. Age at Diagnosis of Heart Failure in United States Veterans With and Without HIV Infection. Journal of the American Heart Association. 2021 Jun 1; 10(11):e018983.

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Background Although HIV is associated with increased risk of heart failure (HF), it is not known if people living with HIV develop HF at a younger age compared with individuals without HIV. Crude comparisons of age at diagnosis of HF between individuals with and without HIV does not account for differences in underlying age structures between the populations. Methods and Results We used Veterans Health Administration data to compare the age at HF diagnosis between veterans with and without HIV, with adjustment for difference in population age structure. Statistical weights, calculated for each 1-year strata of veterans with HIV in each calendar year from 2000 to 2018, were applied to the veterans without HIV to standardize the age structure. We identified 5093 veterans with HIV (98% men, 34% White) with first HF episode recorded after HIV diagnosis (median age at incidence of HF, 58 years), and 1 425 987 veterans without HIV (98% men, 78% White) with HF (corresponding age, 72 years), with an absolute difference of 14 years. After accounting for difference in age structure, the adjusted median age at HF diagnosis for veterans without HIV was 63 years, 5 years difference with veterans with HIV ( < 0.001). The age differences were consistent across important subgroups such as preserved versus reduced ejection fraction and inpatient versus outpatient index HF. Conclusions Veterans with HIV are diagnosed with HF at a significantly younger age compared with veterans without HIV. These findings may have implications for HF prevention in individuals with HIV. Future studies are needed to make the findings more generalizable.

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