Menopausal Hormone Therapy and Subclinical Cardiovascular Disease in Women With and Without Human Immunodeficiency Virus

Brandilyn A. Peters, David B. Hanna, Anjali Sharma, Kathryn Anastos, Donald R. Hoover, Qiuhu Shi, Caitlin A. Moran, Elizabeth A. Jackson, Maria L. Alcaide, Igho Ofotokun, Adaora A. Adimora, Sabina A. Haberlen, Mardge Cohen, Phyllis C. Tien, Katherine G. Michel, Steven R. Levine, Howard N. Hodis, Robert C. Kaplan, Michael T. Yin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: Estrogen-based hormone therapy (HT) may have beneficial cardiovascular effects when initiated in early menopause. This has not been examined in women with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), who have heightened immune activation and cardiovascular risks. Methods: Among 609 postmenopausal women (1234 person-visits) in the Women's Interagency HIV Study, we examined the relationship of ever HT use (oral, patch, or vaginal) with subclinical atherosclerosis: carotid artery intima-media thickness (CIMT), distensibility, and plaque assessed via repeated B-mode ultrasound imaging (2004-2013). We also examined associations of HT with cross-sectional biomarkers of immune activation and D-dimer. Statistical models were adjusted for sociodemographic, behavioral, and cardiometabolic factors. Results: Women (mean age, 51 years; 80% HIV positive) who ever used HT at baseline were older, and more likely to be non-Hispanic White and report higher income, than never-users. Women who ever used HT had 43% lower prevalence of plaque (prevalence ratio, 0.57 [95% confidence interval {CI},. 40-.80]; P <. 01), 2.51 μm less progression of CIMT per year (95% CI, -4.60, to -.41; P =. 02), and marginally lower incidence of plaque over approximately 7 years (risk ratio, 0.38 [95% CI,. 14-1.03; P =. 06), compared with never-users, adjusting for covariates; ever HT use was not associated with distensibility. These findings were similar for women with and without HIV. Ever HT use was associated with lower serum D-dimer, but not with biomarkers of immune activation after covariate adjustment. Conclusions: HT may confer a subclinical cardiovascular benefit in women with HIV. These results begin to fill a knowledge gap in menopausal care for women with HIV, in whom uptake of HT is very low.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E661-E670
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 1 2023


  • HIV
  • atherosclerosis
  • cardiovascular disease
  • hormone therapy
  • menopause

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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