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Thursday, June 4, 2009

Yet Another Reason to Avoid HIV: S.F. Study Finds It's As Bad For Your Heart as Diabetes

Posted By on Thu, Jun 4, 2009 at 6:30 AM

Also to be avoided...
  • Also to be avoided...
The more we learn about HIV, the more we think it's something to avoid like, well, the plague.

Take a recent U.C. San Francisco/San Francisco VA Medical Center Study, for example: Scientists determined that HIV is every bit as risky as diabetes or smoking when it comes to the hardening or thickening or the arteries -- a condition called atherosclerosis.

This is a big deal in a world where HIV patients are living longer. Knowing a patient with HIV could be every bit as likely to come down with plaque in his or her arteries as a diabetic or smoker, a doctor might choose to aggressively prescribe precautionary lipid-lowering drugs years in advance, staving off the problem.

The study appears here in this month's edition of the starkly titled journal AIDS

Lead study author Professor Carl Grunfeld noted that the findings were even more pronounced among women, but notable in both sexes.

"Since HIV confers the same risk as diabetes," he says, "we would recommend that HIV infected patients in the intermediate-risk group be treated as if they are in the high-risk group."

Sensible advice -- we hope you'll never have to take.

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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