HIV Patients Under Threat From BP Medications, Reveals Latest Study
Not all researches and scientific studies produce positive findings. Some findings shake the very foundations of our beliefs. Progress is being made every day in the field of health and medicine but once in a while, a new report threatens to derail everything.
Latest findings have revealed that the medication taken by people with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) to combat blood pressure problems can have unwanted long-term side effects.
Blood pressure medications can also increase the risk of heart diseases and strokes. Anti-retroviral medications presently available enabled HIV-infected people to live longer. However, Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) can induce hypertension and hypertension-related problems in HIV positive patients.
This was the first-ever study that explores the relation between blood pressure medication and the long-term risk of Cardiovascular Diseases (CVD).
Jordana B Cohen, Assistant Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, said, “We suspected there could be differences in risk based on which medication providers select to treat hypertension among people with HIV due to potential interactions between blood pressure medications and some therapies used to treat the virus.”
She also added that factors like inflammation, ageing and salt content in the body were also responsible for the development of CVDs in HIV positive groups.
The study was conducted on 8,041 HIV patients who also had blood pressure related problems. The researchers found that 25% of the patients experienced at least 1 CVD event. Also, the chances of developing heart disease were as high as 90% for the patients on beta-blockers.
Another important fact was that the increased risk was present, regardless of the blood pressure being under control or not. Additionally, the study also uncovered the chilling fact that beta-blockers could have possible harmful effects on patients, whether they were HIV positive or not.
“Patients with HIV need heightened attention to their elevated risk of heart disease. More dedicated research studying the unique needs for people with HIV and those taking ARTs is needed in order to optimize cardiovascular prevention,” Cohen said.