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Medical News

HIV Infection Raises Lung Cancer Risk: Study

July 11, 2007

Persons with HIV infection are at higher risk for developing lung cancer, independent of cigarette smoking, a new study found.

Dr. Gregory D. Kirk of the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and colleagues examined lung cancer deaths in a cohort of injection drug users followed since 1998 as part of an AIDS study. Among the 2,086 participants, 27 lung cancer deaths were identified; 14 of the deaths occurred in subjects with HIV.

After adjusting for potentially confounding factors such as age, sex, and smoking status, the researchers found HIV infection was associated with a 3.6-fold increased risk for lung cancer compared to HIV-negative status.

"As HIV-infected persons survive longer, we are continuing to see that non-AIDS outcomes are becoming the primary causes of morbidity and mortality. Our study suggests that the risks for these non-AIDS outcomes may be modulated by HIV infection," said Kirk.

Kirk said his team plans to combine its data with other HIV and at-risk cohort studies to confirm the association between HIV and lung cancer. "Also, we are evaluating a series of smoking/tobacco related biomarkers in HIV-infected and uninfected persons with similar smoking patterns to compare if the biological effect of smoking differs by HIV status, and if so, is this related to degree of immune suppression or to antiretroviral treatment," he noted.

The study, "HIV Infection Is Associated with an Increased Risk for Lung Cancer, Independent of Smoking," was published in Clinical Infectious Diseases (2007;45(1):103-110).

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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
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