Living with HIV and diabetes each have similar impacts on the risk of cardiovascular disease, even when taking into account smoking among the HIV population, aidsmap reports.

Publishing their findings in Clinical Infectious Diseases, researchers used a mathematical model and various data sets to project cumulative rates of cardiovascular disease among three populations: the U.S. general population; HIV-negative individuals at high risk for the virus who shared certain behavioral risk factors for cardiovascular disease with people living with HIV; and a population of HIV-positive people.

Projected cardiovascular disease rates were highest for the HIV population and lowest for the general population. The researchers’ model projected that by age 60, 20.5 percent of men and 13.8 percent of women with HIV would develop some form of cardiovascular disease, compared with a respective 14.6 percent and 9.7 percent of men and women in the high-risk HIV-negative group and an overall rate of 12.8 percent in the general population.

The model projected that the rate of cardiovascular disease health events among those reaching age 70 would be twice as high among the HIV-positive population compared with the general population. The cumulative rate of overall cardiovascular disease by this age would be 37.9 percent for people with HIV, 29.1 percent for the at-risk group and 25.6 percent for the general population.

A major randomized controlled trial called REPRIEVE is currently investigating whether prescribing a statin to people on HIV treatment over age 40 could reduce rates of cardiovascular disease. For more information, read this POZ feature: Should People With HIV Take a Statin?

To read the aidsmap article, click here.

To read the study abstract, click here.