Physicians treating HIV/AIDS patients with highly active antiretroviral treatment (HAART) needs to be careful of the cardiac risks involved, says researchers from Belgium.
Highly active antiretroviral treatment can dramatically improve the quality of a HIV/AIDS patient's life expectancy. This is especially helpful for patients with advanced HIV-1 disease. For this patients will have to have a full commitment to the antiviral treatment for life.
However researchers feel in prescribing HAART treatment for these people, physicians should be careful of the recent evidence of increasing cardiovascular and cerebrovascular accidents that are happening with the treatment.
Researchers feel that people infected with HIV have more risk of cardiovascular mortality on taking the HAART treatment than those who haven't. HAART is associated with risk factors like increased plasma concentrations of triglycerides, total cholesterol, possibly hypertension, insulin resistance etc. HAART treatment can also induce endothelial dysfunction and thereby increase the risk of coronary disease.
Researchers suggest a total assessment of cardiovascular risk factors in patients who are affected with HIV/AIDS before prescribing the highly active antiretroviral treatment. This will make sure that the treatment is given to patients who are most likely to benefit from it.
The research was published in the British Medical Journal.
Reference: British Medical Journal, June 2005