Differences in statin utilization and lipid lowering by race, ethnicity, and HIV status in a real-world cohort of persons with human immunodeficiency virus and uninfected persons

Robert A. Riestenberg, Andrew Furman, Avery Cowen, Anna Pawlowksi, Daniel Schneider, Alana A. Lewis, Sean Kelly, Babafemi Taiwo, Chad Achenbach, Frank Palella, Neil J. Stone, Donald M. Lloyd-Jones, Matthew J. Feinstein*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Background: Risks for cardiovascular diseases, including myocardial infarction and stroke, are elevated in people with HIV infection (PWH). However, no trials of statin utilization with clinical cardiovascular disease (CVD) end points have been completed in PWH, and there are sparse real-world data regarding statin use and lipid-lowering effectiveness. We therefore used a unique cohort of PWH and uninfected controls to evaluate (1) differences in statin types used for PWH versus uninfected persons; (2) lipid lowering achieved by statin use for PWH versus uninfected persons; and (3) racial and ethnic disparities in appropriate statin use among PWH and uninfected persons. Methods: We analyzed a cohort of 5,039 PWH and 10,011 uninfected demographically matched controls who received care at a large urban medical center between January 1, 2000, and May 17, 2017. Medication administration records, prescription data, and validated natural language processing algorithms were used to determine statin utilization. Statins were categorized by generic active ingredient name and intensity (high, moderate, or low). Lipid values collected in routine clinical care were available for analysis. The first set of analyses was restricted to PWH and uninfected matched controls taking statins and compared (1) differences in statin type and (2) difference in cholesterol levels after versus before statin initiation by HIV status. For the second set of analyses, we first used prevalent CVD risk factors to determine participants with statin indications and then determined how many of these participants were taking statins. We then compared statin utilization among persons with indications for statins by race/ethnic group for PWH and uninfected matched controls using multivariable-adjusted logistic regression. Results: Among people prescribed statins, PWH were more likely than controls to have ever taken pravastatin (34.8% vs 12.3%, P <.001) or atorvastatin (72.2% vs 65.6%, P =.002) and less likely to have ever taken simvastatin (14.2% vs 39.5%, P <.001). Among PWH with indications for statin utilization, 55.7% of whites, 39.4% of blacks, and 45.8% of Hispanics were prescribed statins (P <.001). These differences in statin prescription by race/ethnicity remained significant after adjustment for demographics (including insurance status), cardiovascular risk factors, antiretroviral therapy use, HIV viremia, and CD4 count. These racial/ethnic disparities in statin utilization were less pronounced among uninfected persons. Conclusions: Among PWH with statin indication(s), blacks and Hispanics were less likely than whites to have been prescribed a statin. These racial/ethnic disparities were less pronounced among uninfected persons. There were significant differences in type of statin used for PWH compared to uninfected matched controls. Future efforts addressing disparities in CVD prevention among PWH are warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-87
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican heart journal
StatePublished - Mar 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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