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Bad News for HIV Poz Youth

By on March 1, 2014

Nearly half of adolescents who have had HIV since birth may be at increased risk for cardiovascular disease — including heart attack and stroke — later in life, according to a National Institutes of Health network study.

The findings are the latest results from the Pediatric HIV/AIDS Cohort Study (PHACS), a multi-site, long-term follow-up study of children and youth who have had HIV since birth, sponsored by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and supported by eight other institutes at NIH.

The results are based on clinical assessments of 165 teens age 15 or older with HIV, who were born to mothers with HIV and who have been treated with anti-HIV medications since birth.

The researchers estimated each study participant’s overall cardiovascular risk using a score based on measures of cholesterol levels, blood sugar level, smoking, blood pressure, and weight. The combined score has been shown to predict the presence of buildup and thickening in the major arteries to the heart and abdomen, known to increase the risk for conditions such as heart attack and stroke.

The study results were published online in Circulation. The complete article can be found here. 

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