Evidence of increased blood pressure and hypertension risk among people living with HIV on antiretroviral therapy: a systematic review with meta-analysis

Document Type



School of Nursing and Midwifery, East Africa


Owing to antiretroviral drug-induced endothelial dysfunction, HIV-infected patients on antiretroviral therapy (ART) may have elevated blood pressure. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to estimate the effects of ART on blood pressure levels and hypertension risk among HIV-infected populations worldwide. We sought articles that compared the mean blood pressure measurements and hypertension prevalence between HIV-infected adults naive and exposed to ART. Thirty-nine studies comprising 44 903 participants met the inclusion criteria. Overall, systolic (mean difference (MD) 4.52 mm Hg, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2.65-6.39, I(2)=68.1%, 19 studies) and diastolic blood pressure levels (MD 3.17 mm Hg, 95% CI 1.71-4.64, I(2)=72.5%, 16 studies) were significantly higher among ART-exposed patients compared with treatment-naive patients. Similarly, the risk of hypertension was significantly higher among ART-exposed patients, such that among 28 908 ART-exposed patients, 4195 (14.5%) had hypertension compared with 950 of 9086 (10.5%) in those who were treatment-naive (odds ratio 1.68, 95% CI 1.35-2.10, I(2)=81.5%, 32 studies). In summary, exposure to ART is significantly associated with increased systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels, and increased risk of hypertension, regardless of study-level sociodemographic differences. This meta-analysis supports the need for population-based strategies to reduce the risk of high blood pressure among people living with HIV on ART.


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.

Publication ( Name of Journal)

Journal of Human Hypertension