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Source: Thailand Medical News  Nov 15, 2019  4 years, 5 months, 2 days, 21 hours, 28 minutes ago

Study Shows Those With HIV Are At High Risk Of Sudden Cardiac Deaths

Study Shows Those With HIV Are At High Risk Of Sudden Cardiac Deaths
Source: Thailand Medical News  Nov 15, 2019  4 years, 5 months, 2 days, 21 hours, 28 minutes ago
In a study by researchers from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine comparing medical information from portable EKG patch data from men living with HIV and also men without it, the  researchers report they have found more variability of the electrical "reset" period between heartbeats known as the QT interval in men living with the virus, which may contribute to the increased risk of sudden cardiac deaths.



The findings was published in the journal Circulation and presented during the annual American Heart Association Scientific Sessions meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Lead author Amir Heravi, a medical student at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine told Thailand Medical News, "The take-home message to patients and providers at this time is that it's still most important to treat early and control HIV infection with antiretroviral therapies, stick to therapy and continue to monitor virus levels. Also, people should work to reduce traditional cardiovascular disease risk factors by following a healthy diet, keeping fit, quitting smoking and treating diabetes to compensate for any additional burden of HIV on the heart."

Themedical  researchers say, if further studies confirm and extend their findings, physicians may eventually be able to use this measure of erratic electrical activity in the heart to more precisely assess a person's risk for sudden cardiac death, and identify ways to intervene to hopefully limit or stop risk.

The increase in sudden cardiac death in people living with HIV was first substantially documented in 2012 in an HIV clinic in the San Francisco Bay area, but the biological roots of the increase have remained unclear. In a bid to learn more, the Johns Hopkins researchers used data collected from the National Institutes of Health Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS), an ongoing 30-year study that follows the health of gay and bisexual men from four US cities. Specifically, they focused on medical information gathered from 534 men without HIV infection, and 589 men living with HIV, of whom 83% had undetectable levels of the virus in their blood as a result of antiretroviral therapy. Some 61% of the men self-identified as white, 25% as African American and 14% as Hispanic or "other." Participants were an average age of 57, and those with HIV had been treated for the disease for approximately 13 years.

Every patient wore a portable electrocardiogram (ECG) "patch" device to continuously measure heart rhythms. The researchers analyzed 3-4 days of data on the intervals between beats, when the electrical signals that drive heart rhythms are not firing. This electrical relaxation phase, during which the heart is preparing to send another pulse for a new beat is known as the QT interval. Variations in the length of time of the QT interval between each heartbeat in each person are well documented, and greater variation is known to increase risk for abnormal and sometimes fatal heart rhythms.

The medical researchers used a calculation that takes into account the heart rate and the QT interval u ltimately to calculate the QT