Cardiovascular disease risk among transgender women living with HIV in the United States

Bennett J. Gosiker, Catherine R. Lesko, Ashleigh J. Rich, Heidi M. Crane, Mari M. Kitahata, Sari L. Reisner, Kenneth H. Mayer, Rob J. Fredericksen, Geetanjali Chander, William C. Mathews, Tonia C. Poteat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background Transgender women (TW) are disproportionately affected by both HIV and cardiovascular disease (CVD). Objectives We aim to quantify prevalence of elevated predicted CVD risk for TW compared to cisgender women (CW) and cisgender men (CM) in HIV care and describe the impact of multiple operationalizations of CVD risk score calculations for TW. Design We conducted a cross-sectional analysis of patients engaged in HIV care between October 2014 and February 2018. Setting The Centers for AIDS Research Network of Integrated Clinical Systems, a collaboration of 8 HIV clinical sites in the United States contributed data for this analysis. Patients 221 TW, 2983 CW, and 13467 CM. Measurements The measure of interest is prevalence of elevated 10-year cardiovascular disease risk based on ACC/AHA Pooled Cohort Risk Assessment equations (PCE) and the Framingham Risk Score (FRS), calculated for TW by: birth-assigned sex (male); history of exogenous sex hormone use (female/male); and current gender (female). Results Using birth-assigned sex, the adjusted prevalence ratio (aPR) was 2.52 (95% CI: 1.08,5.86) and 2.58 (95% CI: 1.71,3.89) comparing TW to CW, by PCE and FRS, respectively. It was 1.25 (95% CI: 0.54,2.87) and 1.25 (95% CI: 0.84,1.86) comparing TW to CM, by PCE and FRS, respectively. If TW were classified according to current gender versus birth-assigned sex, their predicted CVD risk scores were lower. Limitations PCE and FRS have not been validated in TW with HIV. Few adjudicated CVD events in the data set precluded analyses based on clinical outcomes. Conclusions After adjustment for demographics and history of HIV care, prevalence of elevated CVD risk in TW was similar to CM and equal to or higher than in CW, depending operationalization of the sex variable. Future studies with CVD outcomes are needed to help clinicians accurately estimate CVD risk among TW with HIV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0236177
JournalPloS one
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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