Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

VA Health Systems Research

Go to the VA ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR&D Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

HIV Infection and the Risk of World Health Organization-Defined Sudden Cardiac Death.

Freiberg MS, Duncan MS, Alcorn C, Chang CH, Kundu S, Mumpuni A, Smith EK, Loch S, Bedigian A, Vittinghoff E, So-Armah K, Hsue PY, Justice AC, Tseng ZH. HIV Infection and the Risk of World Health Organization-Defined Sudden Cardiac Death. Journal of the American Heart Association. 2021 Sep 21; 10(18):e021268.

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions


Background People living with HIV have higher sudden cardiac death (SCD) rates compared with the general population. Whether HIV infection is an independent SCD risk factor is unclear. Methods and Results This study evaluated participants from the Veterans Aging Cohort Study, an observational, longitudinal cohort of veterans with and without HIV infection matched 1:2 on age, sex, race/ethnicity, and clinical site. Baseline for this study was a participant''s first clinical visit on or after April 1, 2003. Participants were followed through December 31, 2014. Using Cox proportional hazards regression, we assessed whether HIV infection, CD4 cell counts, and/or HIV viral load were associated with World Health Organization (WHO)-defined SCD risk. Among 144 336 participants (30% people living with HIV), the mean (SD) baseline age was 50.0 years (10.6 years), 97% were men, and 47% were of Black race. During follow-up (median, 9.0 years), 3035 SCDs occurred. HIV infection was associated with increased SCD risk (hazard ratio [HR], 1.14; 95% CI, 1.04-1.25), adjusting for possible confounders. In analyses with time-varying CD4 and HIV viral load, people living with HIV with CD4 counts < 200 cells/mm (HR, 1.57; 95% CI, 1.28-1.92) or viral load > 500 copies/mL (HR, 1.70; 95% CI, 1.46-1.98) had increased SCD risk versus veterans without HIV. In contrast, people living with HIV who had CD4 cell counts > 500 cells/mm (HR, 1.03; 95% CI, 0.90-1.18) or HIV viral load < 500 copies/mL (HR, 0.97; 95% CI, 0.87-1.09) were not at increased SCD risk. Conclusions HIV infection is associated with increased risk of WHO-defined SCD among those with elevated HIV viral load or low CD4 cell counts.

Questions about the HSR website? Email the Web Team

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.