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Your Heart Will Go On

Your Heart Will Go On


Numerous studies have shown HIV disease and antiretroviral therapy can increase cholesterol and triglyceride levels, cause a buildup of belly fat, and lead to other metabolic abnormalities that increase the risk for cardiovascular disease. But a surprising new study of more than 33,000 HIVers reveals that while the number of HIVers at risk for a heart attack climbed from 35.3% in 1999'2000 to 41.3% in 2005'2006, there was virtually no increase in the actual number of heart attacks among HIVers during that same time frame. The researchers believe the stable heart attack rate is due to the use of lipid-lowering medications by about 15% of the HIVers studied, a decrease in the number of smokers (the proportion of which dropped from 47% of the total study subjects in 1999'2000 to 38% in 2005'2006), and the effect of other interventions to lower cardiac risks, such as improved nutrition and more exercise.

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