Co-infection with hepatitis B or C is associated with reduced bone mineral density (BMD) in women living with HIV, French investigators report in the online edition of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes. The investigators compared bone mineral density between people with HIV infection alone and people with chronic viral hepatitis co-infection.
“The hypothesis of an epidemiological association between viral hepatitis and osteoporosis was the central aim of our study and was only confirmed in our HIV-infected female patients,” write the authors. “Further longitudinal studies are needed to elucidate the relationship between osteoporosis and chronic viral hepatitis, including inflammatory processes accelerating bone mass loss.”
A substantial body of research has shown a high prevalence of reduced bone mineral density in people living with HIV. The exact causes are uncertain but may include traditional reasons such as ageing and smoking, the damage caused by untreated HIV infection and the side-effects of some antiretroviral drugs.
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