Impact of highly active antiretroviral therapy on blood pressure in HIV-infected patients. A prospective study in a cohort of naive patients


Rosario Palacios Muñoz, C/Alcaparrón 10, 1°A, 29018 Málaga, Spain. Fax: 34 951032593; e-mail:



To assess the impact of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) on the blood pressure (BP) of naive patients after 1 year of treatment.


A prospective, observational study of 95 HIV-positive patients in our Unit starting HAART between January 2001 and October 2002 and maintaining the same regimen for 48 weeks of follow-up was carried out. Data on blood pressure (BP) and demographic, epidemiological, clinical, immunovirological and therapeutic characteristics related to HIV infection were collected prior to HAART and at week 48. High blood pressure (HBP) [systolic BP (SBP) ≥140 mm Hg and/or diastolic BP (DBP) ≥90 mm Hg] was defined according to international criteria.


Of the 95 patients, 78 were men, 44% had AIDS and 68% were smokers, and their mean age was 40 years. At week 48 the prevalence of HBP was 26% and SBP, DBP and pulse pressure (PP) increased (121.8 versus 116.6 mm Hg, P=0.0001; 76.3 versus 69.7 mm Hg, P=0.004; 46.9 versus 43.8 mm Hg, P=0.001, respectively). Univariate analysis showed that HBP was associated with older age, higher body mass index (BMI), higher baseline lipids, and higher baseline BP. A linear regression model adjusting for age and sex suggested a significant impact of older age, higher baseline SBP, higher baseline hypercholesterolaemia and lower baseline CD4-cell count on SBP increase.


Blood pressure increased after 48 weeks of HAART, leading to an important prevalence of hypertension. The increase in SBP depended on age and baseline lipid profile and immunological status. BP should be periodically measured and treated when necessary in HIV-infected patients on HAART.