Prevalence and hospital discharge status of human immunodeficiency virusassociated pulmonary arterial hypertension in the United States


Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a noninfectious complication of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection that has gained in importance since the advent of antiretroviral therapy. HIV-associated PAH (HIV-PAH) has a higher prevalence than idiopathic PAH (IPAH), although the vascular pathology seen in HIV-PAH is virtually identical to that seen in IPAH. Initiating therapy for PAH at an early stage is associated with a better prognosis; however, because of the nonspecific symptoms associated with PAH, the diagnosis is often delayed. In addition, because of the low prevalence of HIV-PAH, routine screening for this condition has never been recommended. We hypothesize that the failure to create screening guidelines for HIV-PAH has resulted in underdiagnosis of the condition. This, in turn, results in individuals with HIV-PAH remaining undetected, allowing the disease to progress to more advanced stages or even remain unrecognized until death. If this hypothesis is correct, it may provide a strong argument for HIV-PAH screening guidelines, because HIV-PAH portends a poor prognosis and creates a significant economic burden if left untreated. To address this issue, we conducted a retrospective review of the National Hospital Discharge Survey data and the multiple-cause mortality data to determine the prevalence of HIV-PAH at hospital discharge and death. Using these large data sets, we observed that the prevalence of HIV-PAH among HIV-infected individuals at hospital discharge and death was significantly lower than the reported prevalence in the literature. In addition, we found that PAH was designated as the most common cause of mortality in patients with HIV-PAH.

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Health Education/ Disease Prevention/ Patient Education
Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension


Marshaleen Henriques-Forsythe, Srinadh Annangi, Harrison W. Farber

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Pulmonary Circulation Vol 5: No 3 cover image

September 2015

Pulmonary Circulation Vol 5: No 3

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