People with HIV often develop blood sugar and lipid problems and other metabolic complications that increase the risk of heart disease. But new research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis shows that the HIV virus and the drugs used to treat it don’t worsen heart metabolism and function in these patients, compared with HIV-negative patients with metabolic complications.
The findings are reported online in the journal Cardiovascular Diabetology.
The researchers say the findings were surprising because metabolic complications like insulin resistance, diabetes and problems with blood lipids — such as cholesterol, triglycerides and fatty acids — have become common as improved drug therapies enable patients with HIV to live longer. These complications also tend to strike HIV-infected people at a younger age. Scientists have long speculated that these problems are caused either by the virus or the antiretroviral therapies used to prevent the infection from progressing to full-blown AIDS.
Excerpts taken from an article featuring W. Todd Cade, P.T., Ph.D., was originally published at Washington University Newsroom Well-controlled HIV doesn’t affect heart metabolism, function.