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HIV increases the risk of heart attack, even in people with a suppressed viral load


Infection with HIV is associated with an increased risk of heart attack, investigators from the United States report in the Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine. Importantly, this finding was based upon comparison of HIV-positive and HIV-negative individuals with the same demographic and cardiovascular-risk profiles. Overall, infection with HIV was associated with a 50% increase in the risk of heart attack beyond that explained by other risk factors.

“HIV infection is independently associated with AMI [acute myocardial infarction, or heart attack] after adjusting for Framingham risk, comorbidities, and substance abuse,” comment the investigators.

Cardiovascular disease is an increasingly important cause of serious illness and death in people with HIV. Earlier research has found an association between infection with HIV and an increased risk of heart attack. However, for the most part these studies did not adequately control for confounding factors or had an inadequate control population of HIV-negative people.

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Information in this article was accurate in March 19, 2013. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.