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HIV May Speed Heart Disease in Young Adults

HIV May Speed Heart Disease in Young Adults


A study by researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, AIDS Institute suggests that the cardiovascular disease risks linked with HIV disease and antiretroviral treatment are more of a threat for younger, not older, HIV-positive adults. The scientists evaluated six years of claims data from more than 28,000 HIV-positive and 3 million HIV-negative California Medicaid patients. The incidence of coronary heart disease among HIV-positive men up to age 34 and women up to age 44 was shown to be significantly higher than among HIV-negative adults in the same age groups. Use of antiretroviral drugs boosted cardiac risk even higher. For men over age 34 and women over 44, neither HIV infection nor the use of anti-HIV drugs were linked with increased coronary risk, suggesting that other conditions associated with aging and lifestyle choices have a larger impact among older patients. While the study should not discourage doctors from treating younger HIV patients with antiretroviral medications, the researchers say it does indicate coronary heart disease reduction strategies should be incorporated into HIV care. The full study appears in the August 1 edition of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes.

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