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August 19, 2010

Traditional risk factors main cause of thickening of carotid artery in patients with HIV "US researchers have found that thickening of the carotid artery in patients with HIV appears to be associated with traditional risk factors, rather than those connected with either the severity of HIV disease or the use of antiretroviral therapy. However, in a study published in the online edition of AIDS, the investigators report that treatment with tenofovir had a protective effect against thickening of this artery.�

“Traditional risk factors are more important in predicting levels of cIMT [carotid-intima media thickness] in HIV infection,” comment the investigators.

"The life expectancy of patients with HIV has improved dramatically since the introduction of effective antiretroviral therapy and is now considered likely to be of near-normal duration.

"However, increased rates of cardiovascular disease have been observed in patients with HIV. The exact reasons for this are unclear, but possible reasons include a high prevalence of traditional risk factors, the inflammatory effect of HIV disease, and the side-effects of anti-HIV drugs.

"An important early warning sign of increased risk of cardiovascular risk is increased thickness of the carotid artery."