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May 12, 2010

HIV Treatment and Lifestyle Factors Influence Death Rates "'It is particularly encouraging that there was no evidence that rates of death from any specific cause were increasing over the study period, and no emerging trends in unexpected causes of deaths were identified,' the authors said.

A number of factors were associated with higher death rates, including low CD4s and high viral loads. Likewise, smoking was related to higher deaths from all causes, as were diabetes and hypertension—all correctable risk factors. People who were excessively thin or overweight were also at an increased risk of death. Not surprisingly, hepatitis C virus (HCV) and hepatitis B virus infection increased the likelihood of dying from liver disease.

Conversely, the percentage of deaths overall was extremely low in people with CD4 counts over 350, indicating that the preservation or return of higher CD4 counts has a protective effect against a number of causes of death. Death rates in people with low viral loads were also reduced."