Women who have not yet reached menopause have twice the Framingham cardiovascular risk score if they have HIV compared with those who do not, the National AIDS Treatment Advocacy Project (NATAP) reports.

Presenting their findings at IDWeek 2017 in San Diego, researchers conducted a retrospective chart review of data on 9,635 women, including 25 women with HIV. They culled this data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, covering 1999 through 2014.

The HIV-positive women had a 10-year Framingham cardiovascular score of 2.12, compared with a score of 0.95 among the HIV-negative women. A score to 2.12 indicates that in a decade 212 out of 10,000 women are expected to develop cardiovascular disease—a relatively low risk.

The difference between the risk scores based on HIV status was largely driven by the fact that women with the virus had lower “good” HDL cholesterol, specifically an average HDL of 45.4 versus 57.4 among those without HIV. Additionally, 20 percent of the HIV-positive women were taking blood pressure drugs, compared with 9.7 percent of the HIV-negative women.

Twenty-eight percent of the women with HIV had received advice from their medical providers to exercise, compared with 13 percent of the women without the virus. A respective 28 percent and 13.3 percent of the two groups of women received advice to modify their diet. Despite these differences, there was no statistically significant difference (meaning any actual difference could have been driven by chance) between the rates of women who reported actually trying to exercise (24 percent among the women with HIV and 18.9 percent among those without) or attempting to change their eating habits (32 percent versus 24.5 percent).

To read the NATAP report, click here.