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New Study Looks at Smoking in HIV Patients

Posted On: 11-04-2016
New Study Looks at Smoking in HIV Patients
Research has shown that HIV patients who smoke are more likely to die from the smoking than the HIV virus itself.

The reason lies in the fact that smoking causes cancer causing DNA mutations, as revealed by a separate study that looked at genetic mutations found in tumors.

New developments in HIV treatments have resulted in medications that can keep patients healthy while living with the infection. Often times, this leads to the same life expectancy as a non-infected patient. Unfortunately, a very high rate of HIV patients are smokers—approximately 40 percent.

A team of researchers, led by Dr. Krishna Reddy of Massachusetts General Hospital, used computer projection to see whether HIV or smoking was worse. They found that smoking reduces the life expectancy of an adult with well-controlled HIV by about six years.

This study demonstrates the risks of smoking in a quantifiable way. For example, a smoker who starts HIV treatment at 40 years old is expected to lie to be 65 (for a man) or 68 (for a woman). However, those who quit smoking could live to be 70 to 73 years old, or even older if they have never smoked at all.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, smoking is the biggest cause of preventable illness.

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