Research Article Open Access
Volume 5 | Issue 1 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.33696/AIDS.5.042

Detection of Undiagnosed Elevated Cardiovascular Risk Biomarkers among HIV-Positive Patients on Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) in Kigali-City, Rwanda

  • 1Regional Alliance for Sustainable Development (RASD), Kigali, Rwanda
  • 2Biochemistry and Clinical Chemistry, School of Medicine, Moi University, Eldoret, Kenya
  • 3Faculty of Medicine and health Sciences, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium
  • 4Rwamagana Provincial Hospital, Rwamagana, Eastern Province, Rwanda
  • 5Cardiovascular division, Department of Medicine, Washington University in St. Louis, MO, USA
  • 6University of Rwanda, College of Medicine and Health Sciences (UR-CMHS), Kigali, Rwanda
  • 7Washington University in St. Louis, Division of Biostatistics, St. Louis, MO, USA
  • 8Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC, USA
  • 9Center for Human Nutrition, Division of Geriatrics and Nutritional Sciences, Department of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, USA
  • 10National Council for Science and Technology (NCST), Kigali, Rwanda
+ Affiliations - Affiliations

Corresponding Author

Marcus Bushaku, marcusbushaku@gmail.com

Received Date: February 24, 2023

Accepted Date: March 28, 2023


Background: Similar to other African countries, life expectancy of people living with HIV infection has improved due to access to antiretroviral therapy (ART) in Rwanda. However, both HIV infection and use of ART are associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD) risks, due to adverse changes in some biomarkers, causing dyslipidemia and other metabolic imbalances. Biomarkers for CVD risk in HIV-infected individuals taking ART, has not been well characterized in Rwanda. We evaluated the association between the use and duration of ART and biomarkers of CVD risk among HIV infected adults in Rwanda.

Methods: A total of 150 participants (18-45 years) from HIV clinics in public Health Center in Kigali included n=30 HIV-uninfected (HIV-) and n=120 HIV-infected (HIV+) adults. Among the HIV+ adults, n=40 participants were ART-naïve. Cross-sectional data were collected on healthrelated behaviors and biochemical markers of CVD risk. We compared CVD-related biomarkers between HIV-, HIV+ ART-naïve, and HIV+ on ART groups.

Results: The majority of participants were women (60%) and HIV- were younger (35 ± 6 vs. 31 ± 6 years). Total cholesterol and triglycerides concentrations were associated with ART usage. Serum triglycerides concentrations were lower in HIV+ ART-naïve compared to HIV+ on ART (76.6 ± 38.9 mg/dl vs. 85.0 ± 38.3 mg/dl; p< 0.01). While total cholesterol concentrations were higher in HIV+ on ART than HIV+ ART-naïve (136.0 ± 45.1 mg/dl vs. 130.0 ± 36.5 mg/dl; p<0.04), HDL-C was higher in those taking ART (68.7 ± 30.0 mg/dl vs. 55.0 ± 25.7 mg/dl; p=0.02) among HIV+ on ART for 0-6 months and 7-12 months respectively.

Conclusion: Elevated levels of cardiovascular risk biomarker profiles (serum total cholesterol and triglycerides) were associated with use of ART in young adults with HIV in the present study. Although these values were within the upper limits of normal, our findings suggest early alterations in biomarkers of cardiovascular risk. These findings underscore the need for early evaluation of lipid profiles as biomarkers of CVD risk, to effectively monitor how ART may contribute to cardiovascular disease and deter treatment programs in Rwanda and other African countries.


CVD, HIV, Biomarkers, ART, Rwanda

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