People with HIV are twice as likely to develop heart disease than those without the AIDS-causing virus, British researchers report.

Their review of studies from 153 countries also found that HIV-associated heart disease has more than tripled in the past 20 years, as more people with HIV live longer.

More than two-thirds of HIV-associated heart disease occurs in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia Pacific regions, according to the study. It also found that in some areas of the world, HIV equals well-known risk factors such as diet and lifestyle as a major cause of heart disease.

More than 35 million people worldwide have HIV, and that number is on the rise. It’s believed that HIV may cause inflammation of the blood vessels, which puts stress on the cardiovascular system.

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