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CTN 272: Canadian HIV and Aging cohort

The Canadian HIV and Aging Cohort – Determinants of increased risk of cardiovascular diseases in individuals living with HIV

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About the study

This study will investigate accelerated aging in people living with HIV, looking in particular at cardiovascular disease (CVD). Researchers will also develop tools for analyzing chemical signals in the blood that may help further understanding of many aging related health issues like heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease, memory loss, and brittle bones. The researchers will look for factors that impact on longevity including: the age of the person when infection occurred, the CD4 cell count, the time spent with CD4 count of greater than 500 cells/mm3 and other variables. The study is a large controlled cohort looking to enroll 2000 participants (half with HIV and half without). Participants will be followed for five years and will be invited to participate in the main cohort as well as any or all of the four pre-planned sub-studies. The sub studies are looking at plaque build up in the arteries, abnormalities in blood glucose levels as an indicator of disease, immune system reaction to CVD, and genetic testing.

About the disease/condition

In Canada by 2015, it is estimated that 50% of people living with HIV will be 50 years or older. Study researchers note that some age-related diseases appear to be overrepresented in the population of people living with HIV, appearing approximately 5 to 10 years earlier than in the general population. Not all people living with HIV show signs of accelerated aging and the aging process is complex and not completely understood. The study researchers speculate that the chronic and persistent inflammation associated with HIV, leads to accelerated aging, characterized in part by premature CVD. Following participants for five years will provide insight into higher incidence rates of CVD and accelerated aging in people living with HIV.

About the approach/intervention

Approximately 1000 participants living with HIV will be recruited and 1000 participants without HIV will be recruited for the study. At least 30 per cent of the participants will be women. Participants will be followed for a period of five years and participate in ten clinical visits. Clinical assessments will include collection of medical history, vital signs, blood samples, weight and waist circumference measurement. In addition to participation in the overall cohort, all participants recruited in the study will be invited to participate in pre-planned sub-studies. The sub-studies will focus on specific aspects of cardiovascular disease and its determinants. A variety of imaging and laboratory diagnostic tests are offered to the participants willing to take part in the sub-studies. Participants will be encouraged to undergo as many sub-studies as possible, as the collection of as much data as possible on the same participants will allow better understanding of the development of cardiovascular disease in HIV infection. Refusal to participate in all or some of the sub-studies will not impair participant’s participation in the main cohort study.

Eligibility criteria

Individuals will be eligible for the study if they meet the following inclusion criteria:

  • Older than 40 years old or adult (greater than 18 years) with duration of HIV infection lasting for at least 15 years (as proved by anti-HIV antibodies) at the time of enrolment
  • Able to provide informed consent
  • Life expectancy greater than one year
Participants recruited for the HIV negative control arm of the study will be matched for age, sex and smoking status.

Eligibility to participate in sub-studies is subject to various inclusion / exclusion criteria, each detailed in the sub-study informed consent form. Please contact study researchers for these details.

Participating sites


Southern Alberta HIV Clinic (Calgary)
Ph: 403-234-2377
Dr. John Gill

British Columbia

BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS

Vancouver ID Research and Care Centre Society


The Ottawa Hospital, Ottawa
Ph: 613-737-8209
Dr. Hugues Loemba

University of Ottawa Health Services, Ottawa
Ph: 613- 564-3950
Dr. Mona Loutfy

Maple Leaf Medical Clinic, Toronto
Ph: 416-465-0856
Dr. Sharon Walmsley

Toronto General Hospital
Ph: 416-340-3871 /5077

Maple Leaf Medical HIV Research Collaborative

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre


Regina General Hospital, Regina
Ph: 306-766-3915
Dr. Alexander Wong


Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CHUM)

CHUM Hôtel-Dieu

Centre de Recherche en Infectiologie Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Québec (CHUQ)

Clinique l’Actuel Clinique du Quartier Latin –

Additional Information

If you would like more information on this clinical study, please refer to a participating site.

Principal Investigators

Dr. Cécile Tremblay

CHUM: 890-8000 poste 14613

Dr. Madeleine Durand

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