HIV patients may also be at a greater risk of developing both heart and kidney diseases, finds a study that urges doctors to be more aware of additional risks associated with the human immunodeficiency virus infection.
The findings showed that the risks of cardiovascular disease and chronic kidney disease in people with HIV infection occur simultaneously.
“Our research found that people with HIV at high risk of cardiovascular disease had a corresponding 5.63-fold increase in risk of chronic kidney disease, a finding not consistent with the general community,” said Mark Boyd, Professor at the University of Adelaide.
“It’s wonderful that anti-HIV medication has been able to save the lives of so many, what we need to do now is to help people with HIV realise the full potential of their much-extended life expectancy,” Boyd added
Boyd said: “There has been a lack of attention to the management of cardiovascular disease in people living with HIV. Unfortunately, this has implications for other diseases, and the interaction between diseases creates substantial risks for future life-threatening events.”
For the study, published in the journal PLOS Medicine, the team examined more than 1,400 people being treated for HIV and diagnosed with chronic kidney disease.
Out of these more than 900 had experienced a cardiovascular disease event.
Almost 11 per cent of these patients had experienced both chronic kidney disease and cardiovascular disease, with many of these events occurring just one year apart, the researchers said.
The research emphasised that the risks for cardiovascular and chronic kidney disease in people with HIV should be assessed together.
“We strongly urge both people with HIV and their doctors to be aware of these risks, and to treat them as a combined healthcare issue, not separately,” Boyd said.