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69 Influence of Cardiovascular Risk Factors on Neuropsychological Trajectories in Black/African American Adults Living with HIV

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 December 2023

Valerie Humphreys*
Affiliation:
Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
Will Dampier
Affiliation:
Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
Shinika Tilman
Affiliation:
Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
Kim Malone
Affiliation:
Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
Vanessa Pirrone
Affiliation:
Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
Michael Nonnemacher
Affiliation:
Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
Amy Althoff
Affiliation:
Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
Zsofia Szep
Affiliation:
Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA, USA. University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA
Brian Wigdahl
Affiliation:
Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
Maria Schultheis
Affiliation:
Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
Kathryn N. Devlin
Affiliation:
Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
*
Correspondence: Valerie Humphreys, Drexel University, vh339@drexel.edu
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Abstract

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Objective:

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) type 1 (HIV-1), cardiovascular disease, and HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) disproportionately affect Black/African American individuals compared to other racial and ethnic groups. Understanding the mechanisms of cognitive health disparities is essential for developing policy and health interventions to combat such disparities. Cardiovascular risk factors/diseases are common comorbidities that likely contribute to cognitive health disparities among Black/African American people living with HIV (PWH), but their impacts on cognition longitudinally in this population are unclear. The current study examines the relationship between cardiovascular risk and cognitive functioning over time in Black/African American adults living with HIV.

Participants and Methods:

A sample of 122 Black/African American adults with HIV (ages 25-68, M=51.8, SD=7.7; 98% on antiretroviral therapy; 91% with undetectable viral load) were selected from the Drexel/Temple Comprehensive NeuroHIV Center, Clinical and Translational Research Support Core (CTRSC; based at Drexel University College of Medicine) Cohort. They completed longitudinal visits (300 total visits, average follow-up time=4.9 years) that included clinical interviews, medical record review, biometric measurements, and comprehensive neuropsychological assessments. Cardiovascular risk factors of interest were body mass index (BMI), waist-to-height ratio (WHtR), and a total vascular risk burden score (VBS) representing five risk factors: obesity, central obesity, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, and hypertension. Based on a prior principal component analysis, three cognitive domains were examined: (1) verbal fluency, (2) visual memory/visuoconstruction, and (3) motor speed/executive functions. Mixed models were used to examine domain-specific cognitive trajectories in relation to baseline cardiovascular risk factors and changes in cardiovascular risk factors.

Results:

Overall, cognitive test performance improved over time (p<.003). Baseline VBS was marginally associated with longitudinal change in verbal fluency (p=.06). Participants with low baseline VBS (0-1 risk factors) demonstrated improvement in verbal fluency (p=.002), while those with higher VBS (2-5 risk factors) demonstrated stability in verbal fluency. In contrast, greater increases in BMI and in WHtR predicted more favorable trajectories in motor speed/executive function (both p<.001). Patients with increasing BMI over time improved in this domain (p=.02), while patients with stable or decreasing BMI did not. A similar pattern was observed for WHtR change. No vascular risk factors were associated with trajectories of visual memory/visuoconstruction.

Conclusions:

Higher total vascular risk burden was associated with less favorable verbal fluency trajectories, reflecting the negative cognitive consequences of disorders such as diabetes, hyperlipidemia, and hypertension. Unexpectedly, greater increases in BMI and WHtR were associated with more favorable trajectories in motor speed and executive functioning. In this population, weight gain may be a proxy for other positive health factors, such as immune reconstitution, which will be examined in future analyses. Taken together, cardiovascular risk factors have heterogeneous associations with cognitive trajectories, emphasizing the importance of examining the mechanisms of these varying relationships. Future research will examine how social determinants of health, such as racial/ethnic discrimination, contribute to disparities in cardiovascular risk factors and cognitive outcomes.

Type
Poster Session 01: Medical | Neurological Disorders | Neuropsychiatry | Psychopharmacology
Copyright
Copyright © INS. Published by Cambridge University Press, 2023