A new study carried out by a Northwestern Medicine research has recently suggested that when it comes to individuals with HIV, the current methods that are being applied to predict the risk of heart attack and stroke has been widely underestimated. As a matter of fact, experts have revealed that the risk is actually nearly double to that of the general population. It was found that the study was published in the journal JAMA Cardiology on Dec. 21.
HIV And Heart Attack, What's The Link?
In one of his statements revealed by Northwestern Now, Dr. Matthew Feinstein, a cardiovascular disease fellow at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and who also happens to be the first author of the study said that the actual risk of heart attack for HIV patients is perceived as nearly 50 percent higher as compared to the usual predictions made by the risk calculator that many physicians use for the general population. Experts have added that there is a higher the risk for heart attack even in people whose virus is undetectable in their blood because of antiretroviral drugs.
Furthermore, as reported by VOA News, Dr. Feinstein has also claimed that the disease activity causes the formation of plaque 10 to 15 years earlier in HIV patients than in the uninfected population and is found to be higher in those infected with the virus regardless of age, sex or race. As the first author explains it, HIV virus seemingly accelerates the aging of the virus in those inflicted with AIDS. Thus, he said that there is an increased chances for the development of heart disease. As for the individuals who are found to be taking antiretroviral drugs allegedly live longer, researchers believe that the heart disease in this group will become more common.
Ultimately, experts of the study have highly emphasized that a clinical trial is being set at Northwestern Medicine in order to assess how well can these common heart disease prevention and treatment, such as statin medications, work to prevent heart disease in the HIV-infected population.