-- Robert Preidt
WEDNESDAY, Dec. 19 (HealthDay News) -- A new study finds that
HIV patients who receive good care but who smoke lose more years of
life to smoking than to HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
The findings show the importance of including quit-smoking
counseling in long-term HIV care, the Danish researchers said.
They looked at nearly 3,000 HIV patients who were treated in
Denmark from 1995 to 2010 and received well-organized care with
free access to antiretroviral therapy. The researchers found that
more than 60 percent of the deaths that occurred among the patients
were associated with smoking rather than HIV.
They also found significant differences in life expectancy
between HIV patients who smoked and nonsmokers. For example, a
35-year-old patient who smoked had a life expectancy approaching 63
years, compared with more than 78 years for a nonsmoking patient
who was the same age, according to the study, which appears online
Dec. 19 in the journal
Clinical Infectious Diseases.
The loss of years of life associated with smoking was twice as
high as that associated with HIV, and the increased risk of death
among HIV patients who smoked was three times higher than among
people not infected with HIV, according to a journal news
"Our findings emphasize the importance of counseling HIV patients on smoking cessation, as smoking may impact their life expectancy considerably more than the HIV infection itself," wrote Dr. Marie Helleberg, of Copenhagen University Hospital, and colleagues.
Although the study tied nonsmoking to longer life in HIV
patients, it did not establish a cause-and-effect relationship.
The New Mexico AIDS Education and Training Center has more about
smoking and HIV.
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