Stroke rise in patients with HIV

Hospitalisation rates for patients with stroke and HIV have increased by 60%, new research reveals. 

The study, conducted between 1997 and 2006, found that while the number of stroke hospitilisations in the US decreased by around 7%, patients with comorbid HIV infection comprised 0.08% of ischaemic strokes in 1997 compared with 0.18% in 2006. 

Factors independently associated with a higher likelihood of having a comorbid HIV diagnosis were Medicaid insurance, urban hospital type, dementia, liver disease, renal disease and cancer. 

The researchers noted HIV infection could trigger strokes through several mechanisms, including HIV-stimulated endothelial activation accelerating atherosclerosis, opportunistic infections, neoplasia, HIV-induced cardiac disease and HIV-induced systemic vasculitis. 

“This has important public health and socioeconomic consequences,” the authors said.