Smoking Cuts HIV Patients’ Lives More Than Virus —Study

HIV patients who obtain good treatment but who smoke lose more years of life to tobacco than to the virus, a new Danish study has found.

The study, which looked at nearly 3,000 Danish HIV patients from 1995 — the year antiretroviral triple therapy became standard to 2010, was published online last month by the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.

The study also compared Danish HIV patients with a pool of 10,642 average Danes of the same age and sex. HIV appeared to make smoking much more lethal. The risk of early death from cancer or heart disease was much higher among infected smokers than among noninfected ones, and smoking was more closely linked to early death than was obesity, excess drinking or baseline viral load (a measure of how sick a patient was at diagnosis).

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