Published on December 5, 2012 at 7:08 AM
The researchers also found that frequencies of activated T CD4+ cells were higher among HIV-infected children and young adultsThis shows that the immune system is more active," said Dr Sainz Costa.
They concluded that clinicians need to take cardiovascular prevention more seriously in children and adolescents with HIV, while continuing to treat the HIV infection. Dr Sainz Costa said: "Cardiovascular disease has already put down roots in children and adolescents with HIV and we need to take preventive measures at this early stage. We should be more aggressive in treating their high cholesterol with medication - this practice is common in adults but rare in children."
She added: "We also need to be stricter about healthy lifestyle advice. Many children and adolescents with HIV come from families with low socioeconomic status and are more prone to smoking, poor diet and inactivity. This age group also struggles with adherence to medication which is another worry, but we should not let this decrease our efforts to prevent future complications."
Dr Sainz Costa concluded: "HIV research is investigating ways to control the inflammation and immune activation with agents such as probiotics, aspirin and corticoids. In the meantime clinicians need to focus on ensuring their young patients with HIV take the antiretroviral treatment, take lipid lowering drugs when necessary, and adopt healthier lifestyles."
Source: European Society of Cardiology