Saturday July 20, 2019

People infected with the hepatitis C may also suffer from heart trouble

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New York: People infected with the hepatitis C virus are already known to be at risk for liver damage, and results of a new study now shows that the infection may also spell heart trouble.

Hepatitis C Blood Virus [HCV]. Photo Credit: michelsonmedical.org
Hepatitis C Blood Virus [HCV]. Photo Credit: michelsonmedical.org
“People infected with hepatitis C are already followed regularly for signs of liver disease, but our findings suggest clinicians who care for them should also assess their overall cardiac risk profile regularly,” said study author Wendy Post, professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, US.

Although HIV and hepatitis C infections often occur together and people infected with HIV are already known to have an elevated risk for heart disease, the new study offers strong evidence that hepatitis C can spark cardiovascular damage independent of HIV.

“We have strong reason to believe that infection with hepatitis C fuels cardiovascular disease, independent of HIV and sets the stage for subsequent cardiovascular trouble,” study principal investigator Eric Seaberg, assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, noted.

“We believe our findings are relevant to anyone infected with hepatitis C regardless of HIV status,” Seaberg pointed out.

The study involved 994 men 40 to 70-years old without overt heart disease.

Of the 994,613 were infected with HIV, 70 were infected with both viruses and 17 were only infected with hepatitis C.

Those infected with hepatitis C, regardless of HIV status, had, on average, 30 percent more disease-fueling calcified plaque in their arteries, the main driver of heart attack and stroke risk.

People infected with either HIV or hepatitis C, on average, had 42 percent more non-calcified fatty buildup, a type of plaque believed to confer the greatest cardiac risk.

The study appeared in The Journal of Infectious Diseases.

(IANS)

Next Story

Chinese Scientists to Start Testing Long-lasting HIV Vaccine on Humans

There are nearly 1.25 million HIV-positive patients in China, where around 80,000 people contract the disease every year, according to the National Health Commission

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sexually transmitted disease
A nurse takes blood from a man for a free HIV test on a bus in Tehran, Dec. 16, 2015. VOA

A group of Chinese scientists will start trialing a long-lasting human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) vaccine on 160 volunteers, the first time that such a vaccine has reached a second-phase human trial, the official newspaper China Daily reported on Friday.

The candidate vaccine, known as DNA-rTV, relies on replication of the virus’ DNA to stimulate “effective immunization” against the virus, said Shao Yiming, an HIV researcher at the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.

According to Shao, this vaccine — similar to the one used to prevent smallpox — is the first to undergo a second-phase human trial.

“With significant reduction of virulence, the vaccine will not cause infection in healthy receivers,” Shao was quoted as saying by Efe news.

Moreover, the vaccine being developed does not contain all segments of the virus but some parts of its genetic material, so that the chances of infection are significantly reduced, the report said.

The DNA of the virus will continue replicating after vaccination, thereby stimulating the immune system continuously to produce antibodies, a similar process to the one used by vaccines for other diseases.

HIV
Nearly 40 individual HPV types linked to HIV infection. Pixabay

Most of the HIV vaccines being developed in China and around the world are inactivated vaccines, which do not contain HIV DNA that can replicate, so their effect is not long-lasting.

The first phase of testing, started in 2007, proved the “safety” of the vaccine while the second phase will serve to determine the vaccination procedure to be followed in the future, Shao said.

“Hopefully, the second-phase trial will be completed in the latter half of 2021, and the third-phase clinical trial may start at the end of that year, which will involve thousands of volunteers in a trial to test the effectiveness of the vaccine to protect people against HIV,” he added.

Also Read: Cigarette Butts Significantly Reduce Plant Growth, Find Researchers

The research group has already recruited over 130 volunteers and initial work has begun in two Chinese hospitals, one in Beijing and another in Hangzhou in eastern China.

Chuang Chuang, head of Hangzhou Sunflower, a non-profit promoting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights, told China Daily that over 100 volunteers had already registered with the organization after coming to know about the second phase.

There are nearly 1.25 million HIV-positive patients in China, where around 80,000 people contract the disease every year, according to the National Health Commission. (IANS)