Lung function deteriorates more in people with HIV

Lung function deteriorates more in people with HIV

Some studies have proven that smoking is more harmful to people with HIV than to those without, however, a recent investigation shows that, even if they are non smokers, those who live with HIV suffer greater deterioration in lung function than the population without HIV.

Doctor Rebekka Thundium, from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, analyzed the speed at which lungs in people with HIV who receive antiretroviral treatment deteriorate, as reported by the specialized website

The study, presented in the XVIII European AIDS Conference, compared a group from the general population with a group of people with HIV who were being properly treated and this was reflected in the fact that the majority of them (93.7%) had an undetectable viral load, meaning that HIV was well under control.

Nevertheless, ever since the study ‘s starting point, people with HIV already had a decreased lung function compared to those without HIV.

A faster deterioration

In order to compare among groups, two values commonly used to evaluate lung function were taken into account. The first is Forced Expiratory Volume, or FEV1, which is the maximum amount of air that someone can forcefully exhale in one second. The second is Forced Vital Capacity, or FVC, which is the total amount of air a person can exhale in a full breath, after having inhaled deeply.

The research showed that yearly lung function deterioration was faster in people with HIV, regardless if they smoked, had smoked or never actually smoked. But it was also observed that those who had HIV and smoked suffered greater deterioration than the rest of the subgroups, whether they had HIV or not.

This data suggests that, even though people with HIV have an increasingly higher life expectancy, lung function deterioration is an important factor to consider. This also proves that tobacco use is especially hazardous to people with the virus.

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