The contribution of syndemic conditions to cardiovascular disease risk

Violeta J. Rodriguez, Antonio Chahine, Manasi S. Parrish, Maria L. Alcaide, Tae Kyoung Lee, Barry Hurwitz, Manisha Sawhney, Stephen M. Weiss, Deborah L. Jones, Mahendra Kumar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The syndemic conditions of low education, childhood maltreatment, depression, HIV, alcohol and cocaine use, and obesity have been established as independent risk factors for cardiovascular risk, but research examining the association between syndemic conditions and cardiovascular risk in high-risk populations is lacking. A total of N = 503 participants underwent an ultrasound of the carotid artery to assess for atherosclerotic plaque. Participants, HIV-infected (n = 202) and HIV-uninfected (n = 301) with and without a history of cocaine use, were a mean age of 36.13 years (SD = 9.51); 50% were male, and 62% were African-American. Each syndemic condition was associated with 8% greater odds of atherosclerotic plaque (OR = 1.08), 9% greater odds of systolic blood pressure (OR = 1.09), and 10% greater odds of diastolic blood pressure (OR = 1.10). Multilevel research, interventions, and public policy initiatives are needed to activate stakeholders at each level to maximize their impact at a community level among populations with high rates of syndemic conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)585-593
Number of pages9
JournalAIDS Care - Psychological and Socio-Medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2021


  • HIV
  • cardiovascular disease
  • subclinical atherosclerosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Social Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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