Annals of African Medicine
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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 169-176

QTCinterval prolongation in HIV-negative versus HIV-positive subjects with or without antiretroviral drugs

1 Department of Internal Medicine, Cardiac Care Centre, Federal Medical Centre, Ido Ekiti, Ekiti State, Nigeria
2 Department of Internal Medicine, Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism Unit, Ladoke-Akintola University of Technology Teaching Hospital, Ogbomoso, Oyo State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Olarinde Jeffrey Ogunmola
Department of Internal Medicine, Cardiac Care Centre, Federal Medical Centre, Ido-.Ekiti, Ekiti State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1596-3519.152072

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Background: QTc interval prolongation signifies an increased risk of life-threatening arrhythmia and sudden cardiac death. Cardiac manifestations of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome have become increasingly important causes of morbidity and mortality. We investigated HIV-positive patients to determine the effects of HIV infection, antiretroviral drugs, and identifiable confounders on QTc prolongation. Materials and Methods: A case-control study was conducted in a rural tertiary health center in Nigeria. Data collected included demographic variables, body mass index, blood pressure, HIV status, antiretroviral treatment (ART), duration of HIV infection and treatment, CD4 T-lymphocyte count, heart rate (HR), and QT interval. QT was corrected for HR using Bazett's formula. Results: The sample frame comprised 89 (42.4%) HIV-negative subjects (39.3% male, 60.7% female; mean age, 36.28 ± 7.03 years); 45 (21.4%) HIV-positive, ART-naïve patients (31.1% male, 68.9% female; mean age, 36.48 ± 9.12 years); and 76 (36.2%) HIV-positive patients on ART (27.6% male, 72.4% female; mean age, 39.00 ± 7.68 years). The QTc interval and resting HR were higher in HIV-positive, drug-naïve patients than in the other two groups (P < 0.001). Female sex was associated with prolonged QTc intervals in all groups. Conclusion: HIV-positive patients may be at higher risk of sudden cardiac death due to fatal arrhythmia secondary to QTc interval-related cardiac events. Healthcare providers should be aware that a prolonged QTc interval is a potential indicator of increased cardiovascular risk and should exercise caution in prescribing potentially QT-prolonging medications to HIV-positive patients.

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