Another danger of HIV: increased risk of COPD

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By Robert Preidt
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, February 20, 2020 (HealthDay News) – Adults with HIV have higher rates of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and are diagnosed with lung disease years earlier than those without HIV, according to a new study.

Smoking can be an important reason why, the researchers suggest.

"As people with HIV live longer, it is important to understand how common other diseases are to ensure that prevention, detection and treatment strategies can be developed," said Tony Antoniou, a scientist at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute at St Hospital Michael & # 39; s. , in Toronto.

"While other factors may contribute to the development of COPD in people with HIV, our work highlights the importance of trying to help our HIV patients quit smoking to prevent COPD in the first place and prevent further lung damage in people who they have already been diagnosed with COPD, "Antoniou said in a hospital press release.

For the study, researchers analyzed COPD rates among adults over 35 in the province of Ontario, Canada, between 1996 and 2015. More than 40% of Canadians with HIV live in Ontario.

Compared to those without the virus that causes AIDS, people with HIV had a 34% higher COPD rate and were diagnosed with lung disease about 12 years earlier, with an average age of 50 versus 62, they found researchers.

Among women, the COPD rate was 54% higher in people with HIV than in those without it, according to the report.

"COPD is a disease that generally worsens over time, can worsen a person's quality of life and is strongly related to smoking," said Antoniou.

COPD affects more than 380 million people worldwide and is expected to become the fourth leading cause of death worldwide by 2030. The researchers noted that it is strongly associated with smoking and is potentially preventable.

The study authors noted that a higher smoking rate among people with HIV seems to explain their increased risk of COPD.

The study was published online February 18 in the journal. CMAJ Open.

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SOURCE: St. Michael's Hospital, press release, February 18, 2020

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