Vascular endothelial dysfunction: The putative interface of emerging cardiovascular risk factors affecting populations living with and without HIV in Sub-Saharan Africa | EndoAfrica

  • Partner countries: Belgium, Kenya, South Africa, Ivory Coast
  • Project coordination Austria: Nandu Goswami
  • Project partner Austria: Medical University of Graz
  • Partner institutions: University of Stellenbosch, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology, Hasselt University VITO NV, Alassane Ouattara University
  • Project duration: 2014 - 2017
  • Project code: 202

About the project

Vascular endothelial dysfunction (EDy) is an early precursor of cardiovascular disease. Very few studies have investigated the association between HIV-infection and antiretroviral treatment (ART), and EDy in Sub-Saharan African (SSA) populations. Furthermore, no data is available on the putative cardiovascular effects of environmental factors, particularly air pollution in SSA populations.

Therefore, this study aims to investigate EDy as a putative common pathophysiological consequence of two societal/health challenges in SSA, namely emerging cardiovascular risk factors, and air pollution exposure. This study will be conducted on populations in South Africa, Kenya and Côte d’Ivoire. The main study groups will be determined by the HIV and ART status of participants: (i) Group 1: Patients with HIV-1 infection, not yet on 1st line ART; (ii) Group 2: Patients with HIV-1 infection on ART, and (iii) Group 3: Participants without HIV infection (controls).

Baseline investigations will include measurement of endothelial function, screening for hypertension, diabetes, obesity and measurement of air pollution exposure. In summary, this study will be the first of its kind to investigate the proposed questions, and compare the results obtained in populations of three, regionally distinct SSA countries. Our study helps to identify people who are at risk of developing future adverse cardiovascular events. The study findings could be used to compile educational and awareness material for health care workers and patients at health care sites on cardiovascular risk factors associated with HIV-infection and/or ART, as well as possible cardiovascular risk posed by exposure to air pollution.

The Austrian part of this project within ERAfrica is funded and administered by the KEF.