-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas
FRIDAY, Aug. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Children with HIV who receive
antiretroviral treatments have persistently high cholesterol and
other blood fat (lipid) levels, and would benefit from guidelines
aimed at reducing their long-term heart risks, researchers say.
The findings are published in
JAIDS: Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes.
"Formal guidelines are the first crucial step in minimizing cardiovascular disease complications and maximizing quality of life in this vulnerable population," the authors of an editorial said in a journal news release. The most effective strategy probably consists of a "lipid-friendly" drug regimen -- meaning medications that don't affect blood fats -- along with lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise, they said.
The editorial accompanies two studies in the Aug. 15 issue that
examined blood fats in children treated for HIV.
In one study, led by Denise L. Jacobson of Harvard School of
Public Health, the researchers followed 240 HIV-infected children
with high cholesterol for two years. During this time, the children
had persistently high lipid levels. Cholesterol levels dropped to
normal in only about one-third of the children.
Cholesterol levels were more likely to decline when changes were
made to their antiretroviral treatment, the researchers found. In
most cases, medication changes were related to the HIV, not lipid
levels. Only 15 of the children were given drugs specifically to
manage their cholesterol.
In a separate study, researchers at the Imperial College School
of Medicine, London, compared the effect of different HIV drugs on
449 HIV-infected children's lipid levels. They found all of the
drugs caused a surge in cholesterol. The class of HIV drugs known
as protease inhibitors, in particular, triggered the biggest
Within five years, 10 percent of children developed low-density
lipoprotein ("bad") cholesterol levels above the 95th percentile.
But based on those numbers, only three patients needed to take
Because HIV-infected children are likely to live well into
adulthood, the researchers said treatment strategies need to be
developed that will protect them against heart disease later in
"Clinical trials are required to develop and test intervention strategies to protect against cardiovascular disease in children born with HIV, growing into adult life," Dr. Margaret P. Rhoads of Imperial College and co-authors wrote in the news release.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides
HIV/AIDS among children.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Copyright © EBSCO Publishing. All rights reserved.