|LETTER TO THE EDITOR
|Year : 2014 | Volume
| Issue : 4 | Page : 230
The relationship between smoking, clinical manifestations, and HAART in Nigerian HIV-infected patients
MO Tanimowo1, AO Akinboro1, OG Opadijo1, CA Akinleye2
1 Department of Medicine, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology Teaching Hospital, Osogbo, Osun, Nigeria
2 Department of Community Medicine, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology Teaching Hospital, Osogbo, Osun, Nigeria
|Date of Web Publication||7-Oct-2014|
M O Tanimowo
Department of Medicine, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology Teaching Hospital, P. M. B 5000, Osogbo, Osun
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Tanimowo M O, Akinboro A O, Opadijo O G, Akinleye C A. The relationship between smoking, clinical manifestations, and HAART in Nigerian HIV-infected patients. Ann Afr Med 2014;13:230
|How to cite this URL:|
Tanimowo M O, Akinboro A O, Opadijo O G, Akinleye C A. The relationship between smoking, clinical manifestations, and HAART in Nigerian HIV-infected patients. Ann Afr Med [serial online] 2014 [cited 2019 Sep 21];13:230. Available from: http://www.annalsafrmed.org/text.asp?2014/13/4/230/142298
Since the introduction of the highly-active antiretroviral therapy HAART, there has been significant improvement in the overall clinical conditions and survival of patients with the human immunodeficiency virus HIV and the acquired immune deficiency syndrome AIDS.  But HAART is not without its own consequences on the health of HIV/AIDS patients. 
It has also been observed that because of the increased survival of HIV/AIDS patients, cigarette smoking is taking its toll on this group of people, further exposing them to all its attendant health risks some of which are similar to the side effects of HAART such as hypercoagulation and atherosclerosis,  thereby making HIV/AIDS patients susceptible to increased risk of cardiovascular disease. 
We studied the relationship between smoking status, clinical manifestations, and HAART in 194 Nigerian HIV-infected patients using a questionnaire to obtain information on HAART use and duration, clinical manifestations at diagnosis, and smoking status.
No statistical significance was found between the smoking status of the patients and either the use of HAART or duration of use. Compared to the never-smoked group, ex-smokers were significantly more likely to have weight loss (odd's ratio (OR) 21.40, 95% confidence interval (CI) 5.55-96.5); anemia (OR 5.23, 95% CI 11.89-14.72); lymphadenopathy 3.98, 95% CI 1.20-12.38); and comorbidities OR 2.59, 95% CI 0.84-8.46. Compared to the never smoked group, the current smokers had statistical similarity with the ex-smokers.
Our finding implies that smoking is probably not a determinant of HAART use in Nigerian HIV/AIDS patients despite the fact that smoking HIV/AIDS patients generally have worse symptoms at diagnosis.  It also suggests that stopping smoking may hinder the development of weight loss, anemia, lymphadenopathy, and co-morbidities in people living with HIV and AIDS PLWHIVs. There is evidence that smoking induces weight loss while quitting smoking induces weight gain in the general population. The nicotine in tobacco speeds body metabolism and also causes a decrease in appetite.  Anemia and lymphadenopathy are known to occur very commonly among HIV/AIDS patients and the study suggests that they occur more frequently among the smokers.
The possible protective effect of quitting smoking among HIV/AIDS patients concerning weight loss, anemia, and lymphadenopathy deserves further study to elucidate the pathophysiological mechanism(s). Antismoking programs need to be commenced among Nigerian PLWHIVs.
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