Johns Hopkins Gazette: November 13, 1995


Weight loss before AIDS onset threatens survival

     HIV-positive men who lose more than 10 percent of their body
weight three to nine months before developing AIDS are up to 50
percent more likely to die sooner than those who maintain their
weight. The School of Public Health study, described in the
November issue of the Journal of AIDS, also shows that the effect
of weight loss on survival time occurs even if these men regain
some of their lost weight.

     Increased risk of death due to wasting--the loss of enough
weight to cause illness--is caused in part by an increase in the
body's metabolic rate. AIDS-related health problems, such as
infections, are not the only factor, said Neil Graham, associate
professor of epidemiology and the paper's senior author.

     Metabolic rate is the speed with which the body burns up
food. Severe diarrhea and opportunistic infections that strike
AIDS patients whose immune systems are crippled can overwhelm the
person's ability to maintain their weight, Graham said.

     John Palenicek, a doctoral student and the paper's lead
author, said, "This is the first study of its kind to show that
moderate weight loss before a diagnosis of AIDS is, by itself,
associated with a reduced survival time after the onset of AIDS."

Final 1995 Red Cross Blood Drive scheduled

     The final Red Cross Blood Drive collection for 1995 will be
held on the Homewood campus from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Nov. 14 and
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Nov. 15 in the Glass Pavilion in Levering
Hall. Donors will be entered in a raffle for two gift
certificates for Butterball turkeys. To sign up for a donation
time, call Peggy Jones at (410) 516-8039.

SNARK sponsors sneak preview at Shriver Hall

     The student-run SNARK film series will screen a sneak
preview of the soon-to-be-released Michael Douglas-Annette Bening
film, American President, in the newly refurbished Shriver Hall
Theater at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 14. The auditorium, which
seats 1,100, was recently outfitted with a new screen, 35-mm
projectors and soon-to-be-installed Dolby sound system in part to
accommodate student organizations, which promised to bring to
Homewood sneak previews of major Hollywood films.

     SNARK director Chris Aldrich says the free tickets are
available at the Levering Hall Student Union desk beginning at

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