In the United States, individuals of Hispanic ethnicity receive disproportionately lower-quality healthcare. These healthcare disparities exacerbate unequal access to quality healthcare services, including disparities in cardiovascular disease (CVD) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) care. Research on the role of ethnicity on the CVD outcomes of people living with HIV (PLWH) has been limited. We hypothesize that immunological (CD4+ cell count) and virological (HIV viral load) control may play a role in the development of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) among PLWH, and that Hispanic ethnicity may worsen these outcomes.

To verify our hypotheses, we conducted a retrospective cross-sectional study to investigate the strength and direction of association between CD4+ cell count (immunological cohort, n=513) and HIV viral load (virological cohort, n=261) on AMI among respondents of the All of Us Research Program.

Hispanic and non-Hispanic respondents for both cohorts were comparable in terms of demographic characteristics, except for a significantly different distribution by race. While we identified increased proportion of non-Hispanic individuals with AMI in the immunologic (6.0% vs. 1.0%; P=0.04) and virologic (5.8% vs. 0%; P=0.007) cohorts, we were not able to identify CD4+ cell count or viral load as significant predictors significantly increasing the likelihood of AMI. Potential explanations discussed include self-selection bias resulting in incomplete laboratory data and an underpowered sample size.

While the sample in this study did not support an increased likelihood of AMI by ethnicity, the results should be interpreted carefully in light of the limitations and the established pathophysiological and epidemiological associations posited, underscoring the importance of future research efforts that better represent ethnic minorities and the associations between HIV infection and CVD.

Thesis Completion




Thesis Chair/Advisor

Lopez Castillo, Humberto


Bachelor of Science (B.S.)


College of Health Professions and Sciences


Health Sciences

Degree Program

Health Science Pre-Clinical Track

Access Status

Open Access

Release Date