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Life Expectancy Shortened More by Smoking than by HIV in Danish Study

, by San Francisco AIDS Foundation

Yet another reason to make quitting smoking one of your New Year’s resolutions: Researchers in Denmark discovered that in a nationwide cohort of nearly 3,000 people with HIV, 60% of deaths were linked with smoking. The loss of life-years associated with smoking (12.3 years) was more than twice as high as that associated with HIV (5.1 years), the research showed.

Want to better understand how smoking affects HIV disease and your general health—and how you can kick the habit? Read “Smoking and Your Health: How to Quit (and Why You Should)” in the BETA archive.

The study, led by Marie Helleberg of Copenhagen University Hospital and published in the December 18 advance edition of Clinical Infectious Diseases, reported life expectancies for 35-year-olds in the HIV-positive cohort that differed dramatically according to the individuals’ smoking status: Current smokers could expect to live to approximately 62.6 years of age, while this figure increased to roughly 69.1 years for ex-smokers and 78.4 years for those who had never smoked.

“Mortality was almost halved in previous smokers compared to current smokers,” Helleberg and colleagues note. “Our finding of lower mortality among previous compared to current smokers emphasizes the importance of counseling HIV patients on smoking cessation, as smoking may impact their life expectancy considerably more than the HIV infection itself.”

The full-text article is not available to non-subscribers, but the abstract is available here for free. For more about this eye-opening study, see Liz Highleyman’s detailed summary of the journal article, excerpted below and available in full at HIVandHepatitis.com.

HIV+ Smokers on Antiretroviral Treatment Lose More Years to Smoking than to Virus

By Liz Highleyman

December 21, 2012

Researchers in Denmark, where antiretroviral therapy (ART) is free and widely used, found that HIV-positive smokers tripled their risk of death, and mortality associated with tobacco use was greater for people with HIV than for the general population, according to a study published in the December 18, 2012, advance edition of Clinical Infectious Diseases.

A growing body of evidence indicates that HIV infection and associated inflammation and metabolic changes contribute to non-AIDS conditions such as cardiovascular disease and cancer. But traditional risk factors also play an important role in development of these diseases….

Click here to read the full summary at HIVandHepatitis.com.

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  1. Pingback: Ask a Pharmacist: Kicking the Smoking Habit