BACKGROUND: People living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV+) have greater risk for sudden arrhythmic death than HIV-uninfected (HIV-) individuals. HIV-associated abnormal cardiac repolarization may contribute to this risk. We investigated whether HIV serostatus is associated with ventricular repolarization lability by using the QT variability index (QTVI), defined as a log measure of QT-interval variance indexed to heart rate variance. METHODS: We studied 1123 men (589 HIV+ and 534 HIV-) from MACS (Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study), using the ZioXT ambulatory electrocardiography patch. Beat-to-beat analysis of up to 4 full days of electrocardiographic data per participant was performed using an automated algorithm (median analyzed duration [quartile 1-quartile 3]: 78.3 [66.3-83.0] hours/person). QTVI was modeled using linear mixed-effects models adjusted for demographics, cardiac risk factors, and HIV-related and inflammatory biomarkers. RESULTS: Mean (SD) age was 60.1 (11.9) years among HIV- and 54.2 (11.2) years among HIV+ participants (P<0.001), 83% of whom had undetectable (<20 copies/mL) HIV-1 viral load (VL). In comparison with HIV- men, HIV+ men had higher QTVI (adjusted difference of +0.077 [95% CI, +0.032 to +0.123]). The magnitude of this association depended on the degree of viremia, such that in HIV+ men with undetectable VL, adjusted QTVI was +0.064 (95% CI, +0.017 to +0.111) higher than in HIV- men, whereas, in HIV+ men with detectable VL, adjusted QTVI was higher by +0.150 (95% CI, 0.072-0.228) than in HIV- referents. Analysis of QTVI subcomponents showed that HIV+ men had: (1) lower heart rate variability irrespective of VL status, and (2) higher QT variability if they had detectable, but not with undetectable, VL, in comparison with HIV- men. Higher levels of C-reactive protein, interleukin-6, intercellular adhesion molecule-1, soluble tumor necrosis factor receptor 2, and soluble cluster of differentiation-163 (borderline), were associated with higher QTVI and partially attenuated the association with HIV serostatus. CONCLUSIONS: HIV+ men have greater beat-to-beat variability in QT interval (QTVI) than HIV- men, especially in the setting of HIV viremia and heightened inflammation. Among HIV+ men, higher QTVI suggests ventricular repolarization lability, which can increase susceptibility to arrhythmias, whereas lower heart rate variability signals a component of autonomic dysfunction.
- arrhythmias, cardiac
- autonomic nervous system diseases
- death, sudden, cardiac
- electrocardiography, ambulatory
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Physiology (medical)