MONDAY, March 4 (HealthDay News) -- People living with HIV may face a greater chance of suffering a heart attack, a new study indicates.
Researchers looked at data on more than 82,000 U.S. veterans, and found that there were 871 heart attacks in this group over a median follow-up of 5.9 years. The investigators also found that HIV-positive people had a "consistently and significantly higher" risk of heart attack across three decades of their lives.
Among the veterans, heart attack events per 1,000 people per year were: at ages 40 to 49, 2.0 for those with HIV and 1.5 for those who did not have HIV; at ages 50 to 59, 3.9 for those with HIV versus 2.2 for those without HIV; at ages 60 to 69, 5.0 for those with HIV versus 3.3 for those without HIV.
After accounting for other risk factors, the researchers calculated that people with HIV have an overall 48 percent increased risk of heart attack.
The study was published online March 4 in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.
The findings may not be applicable to women because the patients included in the study were overwhelmingly male, study author Dr. Matthew Freiberg, from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and colleagues noted in a journal news release.
The success of antiretroviral therapy means that HIV-infected people are living longer, and are now at greater risk for heart disease, the authors added.
While the study found an association between HIV and increased risk of heart attack in the veterans, it did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship.
However, the findings show "a clear and consistent excess risk" of heart attack in HIV-positive people across a range of age groups, Patrick Mallon, from the University College Dublin in Ireland, wrote in an accompanying commentary. He added that further research is needed to learn more about the causes of this increased risk and how to reduce it.
The American Heart Association has more about HIV and the heart.
SOURCE: JAMA Internal Medicine, news release, March 4, 2013
a healthy heart and strong cardio
The small things -- the apps you download, the way you think, and the foods you put on your grocery list -- can make big changes.
Beware of claims that you should not do aerobic exercise.
All women face the threat of heart disease. But becoming aware of symptoms and risks unique to women, as well as eating a heart-healthy diet and exercising, can help protect you.
A guy’s guide to health, from early adulthood to retirement and beyond.
How to beat six health pitfalls that predominantly plague men
Follow these tips to streamline your life.
New research suggests that women who eat berries can lower their risk of heart attack.
What can you do to lower your stroke risk? Here are a few ideas to get you started.