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Medical News

Smoking Deadlier for HIV Patients Than Virus Itself: Study

December 20, 2012

A study by Dr. Marie Helleberg of Copenhagen University Hospital and colleagues showed that individuals with HIV infection who received proper care, but who were smokers, lose more years of life to smoking than to HIV. The researchers examined records of approximately 3,000 individuals with HIV who were treated in Denmark from 1995 to 2010. The patients had received good care and free access to antiretroviral therapy.

Results show that more than 60 percent of the patients' deaths were associated with smoking, rather than HIV. Also, there were significant differences in life expectancy between individuals with HIV who were smokers and those who were nonsmokers. For example, a 35-year-old smoker had a life expectancy of about 63 years, while a nonsmoker of the same age had a life expectancy of more than 78 years. The loss of years of life associated with smoking was double that associated with HIV, and the increased risk of death among persons with HIV who smoked was three times higher than that of persons who did not have HIV.

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Reader Comments:

Comment by: Dwight (Modesto) Fri., Jan. 4, 2013 at 9:11 am EST
Everyone keeps saying this is a "duh". Given the nonstop parade of horrors that this and other sites portray life with HIV like, I think it needs to be front page news for the next month. Half the time the press makes this virus seem worse now than in 1984. I wish I'd had this perspective when I was newly diagnosed.
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Comment by: michael (los angeles) Sat., Dec. 22, 2012 at 4:05 am EST
this research belongs in the "DUH!" category. is HIV research money really being wasted on this "research"?
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