Men with HIV may be at greater risk of heart attack

HIV-infected men on antiretroviral drugs tend to develop more and larger plaque in their arteries that may put them at higher risk for heart attacks.

HIV and the aging population

When HIV was first recognized as a disease, most patients didn’t survive for a long time post-diagnosis. With the introduction of a battery of antiretroviral medications, survival has been greatly increased. It’s not rare to find patients who have survived 20+ years and are now entering their 50s and 60s or older. Some of these patients will die from diseases other than HIV, diseases that also affect the rest of us like cardiovascular disease, cancer and a number of others.

Initially, when HIV/AIDS was raging, clinicians and patients didn’t think about long-term treatment of the patient. Often there was no long-term, it was just a matter of trying to prolong survival for a few months or a year. Now, with more survivors, researchers are looking at problems that occur in those who are aging with HIV.

As with the non-HIV population, death from cardiovascular disease is common. A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine shows that HIV patients undergoing treatment have a higher risk of dying from cardiovascular diseases than controls who don’t have HIV. 

The researchers studied about 600 men with HIV who were on antiretroviral therapy. They also enrolled about 400 men as controls in the study. The controls were HIV negative and not on antiretroviral medications. None of these men had overt signs of cardiovascular disease. That is, they didn’t have any symptoms that would make clinicians suspect that they had cardiovascular disease.

Atherosclerosis (courtesy of Nephron)

Atherosclerosis (courtesy of Nephron)

The scientists wanted to look at plaque build up in these men. Plaque is a deposit of fats and other components that can lodge in arteries, gradually making them more narrow and, consequently, decreasing blood flow through them to the tissues that they’d normally supply. This build up of plaque is called atherosclerosis. The plaque can be of different consistencies. It is often classified as either soft plaque (non-calcified), hard plaque (calcified) or intermediate plaque. Soft plaque seems to be more prone to lead to a heart attack.

More, and larger, soft plaque in HIV positive patients

The researchers found that about 10% more patients who had HIV had significant amounts of coronary atherosclerosis than those men who didn’t have HIV.

Even when they considered other risk factors that can lead to cardiovascular disease (like smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure and others), it turned out that the number of men with soft plaques was higher in the HIV group. And their plaques tended to be larger in size.

The researchers also noted that those HIV-infected men who did have significant amounts of plaque had two things in common:

1. They tended to have lower CD4+ cell counts. As the CD4+ count decreased, the risk of atherosclerosis increased. (Also, the risk of a heart attack increased depending on how long the men were on the antiretroviral medications.); and

2. Those who were on antiretrovirals for a long time had an increased risk of having an occlusion of a coronary artery.

Additional research could show whether or not this soft plaque could turn to hard plaque, whether or not the amount of soft plaque increases or decreases, effect of treatment on the amount of plaque, etc.

What this research demonstrates

What this research demonstrates is that men with HIV tend to have a greater risk to develop soft plaques in their coronary arteries. And these plaques tend to be larger. This could lead to increased risk of a heart attack. The risk may increase the longer a patient has been on HIV medications. And may increase in proportion to the decrease in CD4+ cells.

So HIV positive men should be aware that they have an increased risk of plaque formation versus men who do not have HIV. They need to discuss this with their doctors to get guidance as to appropriate studies that may need to be done (e.g blood tests, imaging studies, etc.) and, possibly start on a risk reduction program that might include weight loss, changes in diet, regular exercise, medications and other strategies to help reduce their risk for a cardiovascular event.


Mark Thoma, MD, is a physician who did his residency in internal medicine. Mark has a long history of social activism, and was an early technogeek, and science junkie, after evolving through his nerd phase. Favorite quote: “The most exciting phrase to hear in science... is not 'Eureka!' (I found it!) but 'That's funny.'” - Isaac Asimov

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  • apostleshadamishe

    AMBUSH CURES HIV/AIDS

    Apostle Shada Mishe

    [email protected]

    Sir / Madam,

    For the past 12 years I have been studying and researching Ambush, a Palm plant extract that is effective in curing HIV.

    Name of Plant; Palm

    Name of ingredient: Ambush

    Molecular weight 640 (similar to the sequisulfides)

    Where found: In and around the areas of South Florida where uranium waste was dumped in the 1920’s from the nuclear programme that has now leaked out into the water system. A specie of the PALM plant has picked up this waste to be the valuable AMBUSH.

    Chemical compd; Uranium isotope (cus.n) Grayish white soft metallic compound NOT found in chemistry books.

    Uses: Antiviral DRUG..Ambush

    Found to “KILL” the HIV virus when given in a dose of 60 ml three times daily for 21 days at a known concentration.

    Mode of action.. Ambush kills the HIV virus by causing the viral shell to rupture . In the lymph system Ambush produces “natural radioactivity” that “kills” the virus that ‘hides’ in the lymph system . This crosses the blood-brain barrier since the ‘patients’ claim that they are able to see,hear and think more clearly after taking Ambush.

    Viral Loads…This decreases from 100,000 to ‘undetectable’ in 21 days….. but I have had patients VL go to ‘undetectable ‘ in 5 days.

    SIDE EFFECTS / EFFECTS
    1. After 5 to 7 days of treatment, patients MAY complain of HEADACHES.
    2. After 5 to 7 days male patients experience an increase in erection.
    3. Stool becomes soft and REGULAR
    4. Patients c/o being WARM in the trunk area mainly at night when lying down.

    Toxicology……Before administering to any person a complete toxicological analysis was done to include, arsenic, barbiturates and NO KNOWN poisons or harmful substances to mankind were found.

    Systems/Organs

    Skin…becomes clean, smooth and free of eczema or other say they have small eczema patches in the first week that go away by the third week.

    Excretion
    Since this is a very LARGE molecule it is excreted relatively unchanged via urine and feces.

    SEROREVERSION
    After 149 days the patents revert to being HIV NEGATIVE after finishing a course in Ambush hence no one goes public to say they WERE HIV positive.

    Pharmacology of Ambush on the GUT of an end stage AIDS person.

    It is known that late stage AIDS patients posses a high level of the virus in the GUT which should include the entire GI tract from stomach to rectum. Here the virus is found in the lining and this is difficult for ARV’s because these are the areas needed by the ARV’s to enter the blood supply. There is not a high enough blood level returning back to the stomach lining hence the virus remains in high concentration.

    This causes the person’s appetite to decrease which causes a spiraling downhill of the body.

    When Ambush is taken in the liquid form, it is slightly basic and forms a stable compound in the acidic stomach.The Ambush compound is close to the stomach lining to exert the “natural radioactivity” effect which kills the virus in the stomach. Here the entire mid section feels very warm and sometimes feverish. The infected stomach lining with the dead areas is then passed out as a black slime in the stool. This usually happens about day 4 while on an Ambush regime of 60 ml three times daily for 21 days, wherein the person has a large bowel movement.

    After the bowel movement, the person becomes extremely hungry and eats TWO to THREE times a normal serving. Here I usually recommend cornmeal porridge with butter or cooking oil as a prevention against malnutrition and add a daily multivitamin. By day 10 the stomach has recovered and the person eats normally.

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    THE CHALLENGE

    The challenge is to find a Virologist, or Biologist of HIV Researcher who is willing to put some Ambush in a Human culture medium infected with the HIV virus, incubate with proper controls and report their findings to the world.

    Thank you for your interest and we will be happy to send you samples and answer any and all questions.

    Apostle Shada Mishe
    [email protected]
    Dallas Texas,
    1-972 294 5161

  • http://www.herpeswoo.com/ HerpesWoo.com

    Additional research could show whether or not this soft plaque could
    turn to hard plaque, whether or not the amount of soft plaque increases
    or decreases, effect of treatment on the amount of plaque, etc.

  • Baal

    Not to mention the frequent presence of collapsing variants of FSGS nephropathy in these patients means that risk of death by cardiovascular disease is very high even without the things you mention.

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