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Cardiovascular Disease

Risk of Strokes Is Increasing for People with HIV

The number of HIV positive people hospitalized due to ischemic strokes -- the type caused by blocked blood flow to the brain -- increased by 60% over the past decade, even as the number fell among the U.S. population at large, according to research described in the January 19, 2011, advance online issue of Neurology. Even after accounting for the larger number of people living with HIV, stroke risk increased by about 40% since 2001.

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HIV Infection Linked to Increased Cardiovascular Risk Even in Long-term Non-progressors

Markers of endothelial dysfunction -- an early indicator of cardiovascular disease -- were elevated in HIV positive people who maintained a stable viral load and CD4 cell count without antiretroviral therapy (ART), and even among "elite controllers," according to a study presented at the 50th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC 2010) this week in Boston. This finding adds further evidence that factors other than waning CD4 T-cell function -- for example, persistent inflammation -- contribute to non-AIDS conditions in the ART era.

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CROI 2010: HIV Infection and HIV/HCV Coinfection Increased Risk of Strokes in Veterans Study

HIV positive veterans had about twice the risk of having a stroke as their HIV negative counterparts, and being coinfected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) further elevated the risk, but hepatitis C alone conferred an insignificant increase, according to a poster presented at the 17th Conference on Retroviruses & Opportunistic Infections (CROI 2010) last month in San Francisco. The researchers suggested stroke death may have been underestimated in the past.

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Abacavir Not Associated with Inflammation in 2 Large U.S. HIV Cohorts

Patients who took the NRTI abacavir (Ziagen, also in the Trizivir and Epzicom combination pills) did not show elevated levels of biomarkers of inflammation and cardiovascular risk, according to an analysis of HIV positive men in the large MACS cohort and women in the WIHS cohort, as reported in the July 17, 2010 issue of AIDS. These findings add to a conflicting body of evidence about the link between abacavir and cardiovascular disease.

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CROI 2010: Quitting Smoking Lowers Risk of Cardiovascular Disease in People with HIV

Cigarette smoking was associated with a significantly higher rate of cardiovascular disease among people with HIV, but the risk began to decline after quitting and continued to fall over time, researchers reported at the 17th Conference on Retroviruses & Opportunistic Infections (CROI 2010) last week in San Francisco. A similar pattern was not seen for overall mortality, however.

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