Cardiovascular (heart) Disease

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Relating to or involving the heart (cardio) and blood vessels (vascular). HIV infection and the use of some antiretroviral (ARV) drugs may increase the risk of cardiovascular (heart) disease. Cardiovascular disease can cause stroke (interruption of blood supply to the brain) and myocardial infarction (heart attack where the heart stops beating). Stroke and Heart Attack can be fatal or non-fatal. Early signs may be angina (stabbing pains or deep aching in the upper chest). If you experience these signs, including shortness of breath, cold sweats or sudden changes in body function such as numbness, movement loss, vision loss, and severe headache, call an ambulance on by dialling triple zero 0-0-0. Your HIV doctor of General Practitioner (GP) will monitor your cardiovascular risk profile generally from routine blood tests (such as cholesterol, and other measurements). Smoking tobacco substantially increases the risk of cardiovascular disease (and cancer) – if you smoke, and are ready to consider quitting, speak to your doctor about treatment and support to assist you to quit smoking.  Also see: www.qpp.org.au/living-hiv-staying-healthy/support-quit-smoking