Cardiovascular Risk Influences Doctors' Treatment Decisions for HIV/AIDS Patients, Survey Says
September 17, 2003
Smoking, antiretroviral therapy and family history are the top three risk factors for cardiovascular complications among HIV/AIDS patients, according to surveys of physicians and HIV patients published yesterday in a supplement to the Journal of the International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care. Dr. Judith Aberg of the Washington University School of Medicine and colleagues surveyed by fax 143 U.S. doctors, more than 60% of whom see more than 20 HIV patients each week and almost 50% of whom have been treating HIV patients for more than 15 years. The researchers found that although there is not yet definitive scientific evidence that antiretroviral drugs increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, most doctors reported that they believe there is a link, according to an IAPAC release. About 69% of doctors said that more than 25% of their HIV patients who are on antiretroviral regimens have experienced significant increases in their cholesterol levels. More than 90% of doctors named protease inhibitors as a class of antiretroviral drugs that is likely to elevate cholesterol levels, 34% of physicians said that nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors are linked to increased cholesterol levels, and 29% of respondents said that nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors were likely to boost cholesterol levels. The survey, titled "Cardiovascular Risk Among HIV-Positive Patients on Antiretroviral Therapy," shows that doctors are making treatment decisions based on cardiovascular risks associated with antiretroviral treatments, according to the release.
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This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.