Mechanisms Influencing Circadian Blood Pressure Patterns Among Individuals with HIV

Academic Article


  • HIV+ individuals have an increased risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD), but the mechanisms behind this association are poorly understood. While hypertension is a well-established CVD risk factor, clinic-based blood pressure (BP) assessment by itself cannot identify several important BP patterns, including white coat hypertension, masked hypertension, nighttime hypertension, and nighttime BP dipping. These BP patterns can be identified over a 24-h period by ambulatory BP monitoring (ABPM). In this review, we provide an overview of the potential value of conducting ABPM in HIV+ individuals. ABPM phenotypes associated with increased CVD risk include masked hypertension (i.e., elevated out-of-clinic BP despite non-elevated clinic BP), nighttime hypertension, and a non-dipping BP pattern (i.e., a drop in BP of <10 % from daytime to nighttime). These adverse ABPM phenotypes may be highly relevant in the setting of HIV infection, given that increased levels of inflammatory biomarkers, high psychosocial burden, high prevalence of sleep disturbance, and autonomic dysfunction have been commonly reported in HIV+ persons. Additionally, although antiretroviral therapy (ART) is associated with lower AIDS-related morbidity and CVD risk, the mitochondrial toxicity, oxidative stress, lipodystrophy, and insulin resistance associated with long-term ART use potentially lead to adverse ABPM phenotypes. Existing data on ABPM phenotypes in the setting of HIV are limited, but suggest an increased prevalence of a non-dipping BP pattern. In conclusion, identifying ABPM phenotypes may provide crucial information regarding the mechanisms underlying the excess CVD risk in HIV+ individuals.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Kent ST; Burkholder GA; Tajeu GS; Overton ET; Muntner P
  • Volume

  • 17
  • Issue

  • 11