Low thigh muscle mass is associated with coronary artery stenosis among HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected men: The Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS).J Cardiovasc Comput Tomogr. 2018 Mar - Apr; 12(2):131-138.JC
HIV-infected individuals are at increased risk for both sarcopenia and cardiovascular disease. Whether an association between low muscle mass and subclinical coronary artery disease (CAD) exists, and if it is modified by HIV serostatus, are unknown.
We performed cross-sectional analysis of 513 male MACS participants (72% HIV-infected) who underwent mid-thigh computed tomography (CT) and non-contrast cardiac CT for coronary artery calcium (CAC) during 2010-2013. Of these, 379 also underwent coronary CT angiography for non-calcified coronary plaque (NCP) and obstructive coronary stenosis ≥50%. Multivariable-adjusted Poisson regression was used to estimate prevalence risk ratios of associations between low muscle mass (<20th percentile of the HIV-uninfected individuals in the sample) and CAC, NCP and obstructive stenosis.
The prevalence of low thigh muscle mass was similar by HIV serostatus (20%). There was no association of low muscle mass with CAC or NCP. However, low thigh muscle mass was significantly associated with a 2.5-fold higher prevalence of obstructive coronary stenosis, after adjustment for demographics and traditional CAD risk factors [PR 2.46 (95% CI 1.51, 4.01)]. This association remained significant after adjustment for adiposity, inflammation, and physical activity. There was no significant interaction by HIV serostatus (p-interaction = 0.90).
In this exploratory analysis, low thigh muscle mass was significantly associated with subclinical obstructive coronary stenosis. Additional studies involving larger sample sizes and prospective analyses are needed to confirm the potential utility of measuring mid-thigh muscle mass for identifying individuals at increased risk for obstructive CAD who might benefit from more aggressive risk factor management.