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Injurious Inflammation

Injurious Inflammation


Elevated risks for diabetes and cardiovascular disease are two of the unfortunate potential side effects of antiretroviral therapy, even among adults with no other clear risk factors for the conditions. And now researchers might have discovered why. A comparison of the metabolic profiles of 20 HIV-positive men and 26 insulin-resistant, obese HIV-negative men showed striking similarities: Both groups had high levels of compounds linked with inflammation in the body, including C-reactive protein, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, and interleukin-6. Even levels of hormones produced in fat tissues--of which the obese men had much more--were similar between the two groups. 'We think that in some way antiretroviral drugs influence fat calls, making them push out inflammatory molecules that contribute to creating the heart disease and diabetes we see in patients,' the researchers wrote in the journal Obesity. 'Patients need to be made aware that it's wise to stay healthy by eating well and staying active. They also need to be monitored for metabolic changes and treated, as appropriate.

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