Bauer S, Wa Mwanza M, Chilengi R, Holmes CB, Zyambo Z, Furrer H, Egger M, Wandeler G, Vinikoor MJ.
The prevalence of high blood pressure (HBP) and hypertension (HTN), awareness of the diagnoses, and use of anti-hypertensive drugs were examined among human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected individuals on antiretroviral therapy (ART) in Zambia’s capital Lusaka. Within a prospective cohort based at two public sector ART clinics, BP was measured at ART initiation and every 6 months thereafter as a routine clinic procedure. Predictors of HBP (systolic BP ≥140 mmHg or diastolic BP ≥90 mmHg) during one year on ART were analyzed using logistic regression, and the proportion with HTN (2+ episodes of HBP >3 months apart) described. A phone survey was used to understand patient awareness of HBP, use of anti-hypertensive drugs, and history of cardiovascular events (CVE; myocardial infarction or stroke). Among 896 cohort participants, 887 (99.0%) had at least one BP measurement, 98 (10.9%) had HBP, and 57 (6.4%) had HTN. Increasing age (10-year increase in age: adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 1.50; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.20-1.93), male sex (AOR = 2.33, 95% CI 1.43-3.80), and overweight/obesity (AOR = 4.07; 95% CI 1.94-8.53) were associated with HBP. Among 66 patients with HBP, 35 (53.0%) reported awareness of the condition, and nine (25.7%) of these reported having had a CVE. Only 14 (21.2%) of those reached reported ever taking an anti-hypertensive drug, and one (1.5%) was currently on treatment. These data suggest that major improvements are needed in the management of HBP among HIV-infected individuals in settings such as Zambia.