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Smoking May Shorten Lives of HIV Patients More than HIV Itself

Smoking May Shorten Lives of HIV Patients More than HIV Itself

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By    |   Thursday, 03 November 2016 11:59 AM

Smoking has a huge negative impact on health, but scientists at Massachusetts General Hospital found it is even more deadly for those living with HIV— it reduces life expectancy even more than the disease itself.


Researchers used epidemiologic data to estimate the average lifespans of people living with HIV depending on whether they were current, former or never smokers.


Their research demonstrated that a person with HIV could lose more than 8 years of life simply because of his or her smoking habits.


Researchers also found that if one-quarter of the people receiving care for HIV in the U.S. who smoke were to quit now, more than a quarter million years of life would be saved.


The study found that for an average 40-year-old person who receives care for HIV but smokes and doesn't perfectly stick to antiviral treatment, smoking shortens his or her expected lifespan by more than 6 years, compared with a nonsmoker who is also a bit lax about taking anti-HIV medicines.


Smoking shortens expected lifespans by more than 8 years — about double the impact of HIV itself — compared with a nonsmoker who perfectly adheres to treatment.


When young smokers quit after entering treatment for HIV, however, much of the loss of life expectancy is regained.


"A person with HIV who consistently takes anti-HIV medicines but smokes is much more likely to die of a smoking-related disease than of HIV," says study leader Krishna Reddy, M.D. "The good news is that quitting smoking can greatly increase lifespan, and it is never too late to quit."


More than 44,000 new cases of HIV are diagnosed in the U.S. every year, and 1.2 million Americans live with the disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


"Smoking cessation should be a key part of the care of people living with HIV to improve both their lifespan and their quality of life," says study co-author Travis Baggett, M.D.


"It is time to recognize that smoking is now the primary killer of people with HIV who are receiving treatment," said the study's senior author Rochelle Walensky, M.D.


Study results are published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases.
 

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Smoking has a huge negative impact on health, but scientists at Massachusetts General Hospital found it is even more deadly for those living with HIV- it reduces life expectancy even more than the disease itself. Researchers used epidemiologic data to estimate the average...
smoking, shortens, lives, HIV, patients, deadly
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2016-59-03
Thursday, 03 November 2016 11:59 AM
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