New findings published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that undetectable HIV-positive people on antiretroviral treatment who smoke are more likely to die of ling cancer than HIV-related causes.
As AIDS Map points out, in 2015, 40 percent of HIV-positive people were smokers, compared to 15 percent of the general population. As nearly every study shows, smoking reduces life expectancy due to cardiovascular disease, cancers, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
The study also points out that undetectable poz people are six to 13 times more likely to die of lung cancer, while 10 percent of all HIV-positive people linked to care will eventually die of lung cancer. Researchers found these results based on the Unites States general population data to current and former smokers.
Nearly 60,000 HIV-positive people are likely to die of lung cancer by the age of 80, researchers found. Male smokers aged 40 and over were 35 times more likely to die of lung cancer or other non-AIDS related cause than not, compared to women, who were 27 times more likely.
As we previously pointed out, HIV-positive people already stand a higher chance of having a heart attack — nearly four times the risk of the general population.
“The likelihood of dying of HIV is low, but the likelihood of dying from a Myocardial Infarction (heart attack) is high,” Dr. Frank Spinelli, Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at NY Medical College, said to Plus last year. “If you’re 55 and your father had a heart attack, we need to worry about heart disease with you. You have to take it from a personalized level: eat right, exercise, and don’t smoke. There’s a higher prevalence of smoking among HIV-positive people. We have to manage patients as if they’re going to live the rest of their lives just like you would anyone else.”