Heart Problems Linked to Those Born With HIV: Health Research Paper

Excerpt from Research Paper :

Heart Problems Linked to Those Born with HIV

HIV treatment now improves the longevity of infected persons, and researchers have since shifted their focus to the health-related complications that such persons could face later in life. Cardiovascular disease has been found to be one, and perhaps the most significant, of these complications. Research has, in fact, established that "children born with HIV are more likely to have heart problems later in life, even if they are treated early with antiretroviral drugs" (McNeil Jr., 2014). Whereas almost no child in America is now born with HIV, owing to the availability of preventive drugs, more than 250, 000 children born every year in the developing world are not as lucky, and have to take antiretroviral drugs their entire lives. This text establishes how the "combination of the effects of HIV itself and the antiretroviral drugs used to treat it" increases the likelihood of this group falling prey to heart disease later in adulthood (Fox News, 2013).

An individual's risk of heart disease is measured using the PDAY score, which calculates this risk on the basis of the participant's weight, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels - all of which are risk factors - and then rates the same on a scale of 0 to 1 (NIH, 2014). A score of 1 implies the highest risk; a 29% chance of having a clogged abdominal aorta, and an 18% likelihood of having clogged coronary arteries (NIH, 2014). A long-term study by the Pediatric HIV / AIDS Cohort on 165 teenagers born with HIV found 48% of them to have a PDAY score of 1, characterized by unusually high cholesterol, blood sugar, and pressure levels (NIH, 2014). Before establishing the connection between this observation and HIV, it would be prudent to briefly show how the three elements above increase an individual's CVD risk.

High Cholesterol: When the cholesterol levels in the body are too high, large amounts of the same build up in the artery walls, causing arthrosclerosis - a condition which makes the arteries narrower. Narrow arteries interfere with the flow of blood, and by extension oxygen, to the heart,…

Sources Used in Document:


Fox News. (2013). HIV Linked to Higher Chance of Heart Attack. Fox News. Retrieved 26 April 2014 from http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/03/06/hiv-linked-to-higher-chance-heart-attack/

McNeil Jr. D.G. (2014). Heart Problems Linked to Those Born with HIV. Positive Living Society of British Columbia. Retrieved 26 April 2014 from http://www.positivelivingbc.org/news/140303/heart-problems-linked-those-born-hiv

NIH. (2014). Youth Born with HIV may have Higher Heart Disease Risk, NIH Network Study Shows. National Institutes of Health. Retrieved 26 April 2014 from http://www.nih.gov/news/health/feb2014/nichd-24.htm

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