Study explains HIV patient heart risk

July 25, 2012

People who are HIV-positive face up to twice the risk of heart attack or stroke as the rest of the population, and the reason may be due to inflammation of the arteries, says a new study.

This inflammation could be triggered by the activation of the immune system as it tries to fight off HIV, resulting in higher cardiovascular risk, said the study in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Researchers compared the PET and CT scans of 81 participants - one-third were HIV-infected people without known cardiovascular disease who were taking antiretroviral therapy.