Smoking Increases Mortality Rate in HIV Patients (1/2/13)

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HIV patients that obtain good treatment will increase their mortality rate if they smoke, a new Danish study has found.

The study, published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases indicated that a 35 year old HIV patient that did not smoke was likely to live to age 78, while one that did smoke was likely to die before age 63.

The study looked at nearly 2,000 Danish HIV patients also compared both HIV infected with a pool of over 10,000 uninfected Danes that were the same age and sex.  Along with the high mortality rate for HIV patients, the risk of early death from cancer increased for patients.

The study did not include intravenous drug users that often smoke based on the belief that their “risk-taking behavior” and causes of death “differ significantly from the rest of the HIV infected population”. 

Denmark has universal health care. H.I.V. drugs are free and care is coordinated by AIDS centers around the country.

“Treatment failures and loss to follow-up are rare,” the study said. It urged doctors to strongly advise their H.I.V. patients to quit smoking.

Source: New York Times