Injection drug users (IDUs) with HIV who lack access to both a sufficient quality and quantity of food have a raised mortality risk compared with those who are eating properly. Publishing their findings in the journal PLOS ONE, researchers at Simon Fraser University (SFU) in British Columbia, Canada, followed 254 IDUs from across the province and found that 71 percent lacked proper access to nourishment, or were “food insecure.”

After a 13-year follow-up period, those who were food insecure were twice as likely to die as those who were food secure. Further analysis of the study data found that food hunger, or lack of food, was not the primary cause of the raised risk in mortality.

In a release, Robert Hogg, an SFU health sciences professor and director of the HIV/AIDS Drug Treatment Program at the British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, said: “This research points to the urgent need to further investigate the impact of food insecurity on the health outcomes of people living with HIV/AIDS.”

To read a release about the study, click here.