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Virus Can Cause Metabolic Problems

Virus Can Cause Metabolic Problems


HIV itself may cause disturbances in a person's metabolism, even in the absence of antiretroviral therapy, according to a study in the March edition of the journal HIV Medicine. Previous studies have linked antiretrovirals with the development of elevated cholesterol, triglyceride, and blood glucose levels, the latter a precursor to diabetes. But this new study suggests HIV itself plays a role in metabolic disturbances, possibly even an indistinguishable one from the problems linked with therapy. Treatment-naive adults with advanced HIV disease frequently have adverse increases in blood lipids and blood sugar levels, according to the study. It also found that HIV-positive women and African-Americans have lower blood lipid levels than men or other races. HIV-positive women were more likely to have higher blood glucose and insulin levels than their male peers.

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