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Diabetes, Heart Disease Raise Coronary Event Risk in HIV

Data point to need for diabetes screening and coronary heart disease risk reduction in HIV patients

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Both diabetes mellitus and pre-existing coronary heart disease (CHD) are associated with an increased risk of a CHD event in individuals with HIV, indicating the need for diabetes screening in this population, according to research published online Feb. 2 in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Signe W. Worm, M.D., of the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, and colleagues analyzed data from 33,347 HIV-positive individuals in Europe, Australia and the United States.

The investigators found that in those with pre-existing CHD, the rate of a CHD episode over five years was 7.52 times higher than in individuals without pre-existing CHD. In those with diabetes at study entry, the rate was just 2.41 times higher than in those without diabetes, they note. The risk of CHD grew higher with a longer duration of diabetes, the researchers report.

"There is evidence to suggest that diabetes mellitus is becoming an increasing problem among those infected with HIV, and we have recently reported an increase of diabetes mellitus among patients under follow-up from 3.8 percent in 1999/2000 to 5.2 percent in 2005/2006. Furthermore, we recently reported that only one-fifth of patients with diabetes mellitus in the D:A:D study [the source of the data for this article] who were not taking lipid-lowering drugs initiated such primary prevention. Thus, we suggest that targets for interventions among HIV-infected individuals should consider an individual's entire risk factor profile, including their history of CHD and diabetes mellitus," the authors conclude.

The study was funded by an initiative supported by several pharmaceutical companies, and two co-authors disclosed financial relationships with a number of pharmaceutical companies.

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