Published on January 17, 2014 at 12:26 AM
Based on this analysis, the researchers found that at the end of the study period, 85 out of the original 400 patients had died. Although these patients represent a population already at high risk of mortality from many problems (smoking, drug abuse, homelessness, etc.), most deaths in the study period were a result of either HIV or hepatitis C. Adjusting for known risk factors, such as age, smoking and hepatitis status, the researchers found that an increased burden of inflammation was strongly associated with increased mortality in alcohol-abusing HIV patients. This association was found, regardless of whether or not patients were taking their antiretroviral drugs. One inflammatory molecule in particular, known as interleukin-6 (IL-6) was found to have the strongest association with mortality among patients in the study.
"Current antiretroviral drug regimens may be able to improve mortality in most patients, but are unable to decrease the potentially dangerous burden of a chronic inflammatory state in the body," said Fuster. "Additional research should explore how to better manage chronic inflammation in these patients."
Source: Boston University Medical Center