HIV-positive people who experience a heart attack and require hospitalization are more likely to die, compared with those not infected with the virus, according to new data presented at the 52nd Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC) in San Francisco.

The analysis of 1.5 million heart attack-related hospital admissions recorded by the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Nationwide Inpatient Survey between 1997 and 2006 found that roughly 4 percent of those with HIV died, compared with 2 percent of those not infected the virus. After adjusting the data for numerous key differences between the two groups, the risk of death was roughly 38 percent higher among those infected with HIV.

Lead presenter Daniel Pearce, DO, of Loma Linda University in Loma Linda, CA, explained that reasons for this disparity are not yet clear, but noted HIV-positive patients were less likely to receive standard cardiovascular care procedures while hospitalized, notably antiocoagulant treatment, angiography, cardiac catheterization and/or bypass surgery.

“Additional mortality burden and lower procedure rates occur for HIV sero-positives receiving [heart attack] care,” the authors concluded. “Healthcare providers should be alert to the increased mortality burden when treating sero-positives with [heart attacks]. Studies to evaluate factors associated with this differential outcome are required.”

To read the 52nd ICAAC abstract, click here.