HYPERTENSION, HIGH CHOLESTEROL, AND SMOKING ARE KEY FACTORS FOR HEART ATTACKS IN ADULTS WITH HIV

 

As the life expectancy for older adults with HIV increases, an important issue is the more frequent onset of diseases associated with aging, such as heart disease, heart attack (myocardial infarction), cancer, liver and kidney disease. More importantly are the measures that can be taken to lower these risks.. For heart disease the effects of hypertension, high cholesterol, and smoking need attention. Large numbers of adults with HIV in the US and Canada were studied between the years of 2000 and 2014. The group was followed over time as they were monitored for the onset of myocardial infarction and other diseases.

The results showed that elevated total cholesterol was associated with 44% of the increase risk of a heart attack; hypertension contributed 42% of the risk; and smoking 37% of the risk. By addressing these risk factors there can be a substantial lowering of one’s risk of a heart attack. There are therapies and approaches available to lower the risk associated with these factors. How to address your disease risk should be discussed with your medical professionals. Follow their advice. 

Althoff, K.N., et al. (2019). Contributions of traditional and HIV-related risk factors on non-AIDS- defining cancer, myocardial infarction, and end-stage liver and renal diseases in adults with HIV in the USA and Canada: a collaboration of cohort studies. The Lancet HIV 6(2): e93-e104)