A Systematic Review of the Usefulness of Statin Therapy in HIV-Infected Patients

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83 Scopus citations


HIV-infected patients have a greater prevalence of dyslipidemia, earlier incidence and progression of atherosclerosis, and a nearly twofold increased risk for myocardial infarction compared with those not infected with HIV. Pre-existing cardiovascular risk factors, viral replication, and antiviral treatments all contribute to this accelerated and increased risk for cardiovascular disease in HIV-infected subjects. Given this risk and the proven benefit of statins reducing cardiovascular events across numerous patient groups, statin therapy might be particularly beneficial for patients with HIV. However, safety concerns and a dearth of quality trial data evaluating clinical outcomes in HIV-infected patients on simultaneous antiretroviral therapy (ART) and statin therapy have likely limited statin use in HIV-infected patients chronically taking ART. We performed a systematic review evaluating 18 clinical trials of statins in HIV-infected subjects receiving ART. Simvastatin is contraindicated in the setting of protease inhibitor use because of toxic drug-drug interactions when the 2 drugs are taken concomitantly. Meanwhile, atorvastatin appears to be relatively safe at submaximal doses if monitored. Pravastatin, rosuvastatin, and pitavastatin appear to have the most benign safety profiles among statins when co-administered with ART and may not require dose adjustment. In conclusion, clinicians should be mindful of the elevated risk for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease in HIV-infected patients when assessing the need for lifestyle interventions and statin therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number21063
Pages (from-to)1760-1766
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Cardiology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 15 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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