Toddlers Taking HIV Drugs Have Higher
WEDNESDAY, Nov. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Toddlers who take
anti-HIV drugs have higher cholesterol levels than those who do not
have HIV, a new study shows.
It's the first such finding in toddlers and the long-term
significance is unknown, according to the U.S. National Institutes
of Health researchers and colleagues.
They reviewed the medical records of 764 children who had been
exposed to HIV in the womb. Of the 83 who were infected with HIV,
59 percent were receiving anti-HIV drugs during the time they were
in the study.
The highest average cholesterol levels (169 milligrams per
deciliter of blood) were found in children taking a anti-HIV drugs
called protease inhibitors. Average cholesterol levels were 147
mg/dL for children taking other anti-HIV drugs and 122 mg/dL for
children who weren't taking any anti-HIV drugs.
The researchers also found that 10.8 percent of HIV-positive
toddlers had cholesterol levels above 200 mg/dL, which is two times
higher than among toddlers without HIV. This level is considered
borderline high risk for developing heart disease.
It's likely that HIV-infected children will be taking anti-HIV
drugs for their entire lives, noted lead author Dr. Rohan Hazra of
the Pediatric, Adolescent and Maternal Health Branch of the Eunice
Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human
"Our findings suggest that it would be a good idea for young children taking protease inhibitors to have their cholesterol monitored periodically to determine whether they face any increased risk of heart disease as they grow older," Hazra said in an NIH news release.
The study appears in the journal
Previous studies have found that adults and older children who
take protease inhibitors also develop high cholesterol levels.
The New Mexico AIDS Education and Training Center has more about
HIV and children.
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