Ethnicity Influence Development of Obesity, Diabetes in HIV-Positive Patients

Study finds greater risk of cardiovascular disease in some ethnicities with HIV.

A study that examined Hispanics living with HIV for 2 years after starting antiretroviral therapy revealed they have an increased risk of developing diabetes or obesity, according to KSAT12.

Among 153 study participants, 79% developed diabetes, high cholesterol, or obesity, while 48% developed more than 1 health condition. The combination of genetics, HIV mediations, and inflammation from the virus causes a perfect story, reported KSAT12.

“In the case of HIV, the body tries to fight the virus,” said researcher Barbara Taylor, an expert in infectious diseases. “But the virus hides from the immune system. So the inflammation that is usually helpful, winds up harming you.”

Over time, the inflammation can exhaust the body, and cause problems such as higher rates of heart attacks.

“We have to look at the whole person,” Taylor said/ “We can’t just treat the virus anymore.”

The study authors noted that in order to prevent cardiovascular disease-associated mortality in this population, care models are needed that incorporate cardiovascular risk reduction into HIV treatment programs.