Frailty and subclinical coronary atherosclerosis: The Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS)

Sai Krishna C. Korada, Di Zhao, Martin Tibuakuu, Todd T. Brown, Lisa P. Jacobson, Eliseo Guallar, Robert K. Bolan, Frank J. Palella, Joseph B. Margolick, Jeremy J. Martinson, Matthew J. Budoff, Wendy S. Post, Erin D. Michos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background and aims Frailty and cardiovascular disease share many risk factors. We evaluated whether frailty is independently associated with subclinical coronary atherosclerosis and whether any relationships differ by HIV-serostatus. Methods We studied 976 [62% HIV-infected] male participants of the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study who underwent assessment of frailty and non-contrast cardiac CT scanning; of these, 747 men also underwent coronary CT angiography (CCTA). Frailty was defined as having ≥3 of 5 of the following: weakness, slowness, weight loss, exhaustion, and low physical activity. Coronary artery calcium (CAC) was assessed by non-contrast CT, and total plaque score (TPS), mixed plaque score (MPS), and non-calcified plaque score (NCPS) by CCTA. Multivariable-adjusted regression was used to assess the cross-sectional associations between frailty and subclinical coronary atherosclerosis. Results Mean (SD) age of participants was 54 (7) years; 31% were black. Frailty existed in 7.5% and 14.3% of HIV-uninfected and HIV-infected men, respectively. After adjustment for demographics, frailty was significantly associated with prevalence of any CAC (CAC>0), any plaque (TPS>0), and mixed plaque (MPS>0) in HIV-uninfected but not in HIV-infected men (p-interactionHIV<0.05 for all). Among HIV-uninfected men, after adjustment for cardiovascular risk factors, frailty was significantly associated only with CAC>0 [Prevalence Ratio 1.27 (95%CI 1.02, 1.59)] and TPS>0 [1.19 (1.06, 1.35)]. No association was found for NCPS. Conclusions Frailty was independently associated with subclinical coronary atherosclerosis among HIV-uninfected men, but not among HIV-infected men. Further work is needed to ascertain mechanisms underlying these differences and whether interventions that improve frailty (i.e. strength training) can improve cardiovascular outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)240-247
Number of pages8
StatePublished - Nov 2017


  • Cardiac CT
  • Coronary artery calcium
  • Coronary atherosclerosis
  • Frailty
  • HIV-Infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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