Longitudinal changes in serum lipids among HIV-infected men on highly active antiretroviral therapy

Sharon A. Riddler*, X. Li, H. Chu, L. A. Kingsley, A. Dobs, R. Evans, F. Palella, B. Visscher, J. S. Chmiel, A. R. Sharrett

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Scopus citations


Objective: The aim of the study was to describe longitudinal changes in serum lipids among HIV-infected men receiving highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) with long-term follow-up. Methods: A total of 304 HIV-infected men who initiated HAART and who had serum lipid measurements prior to and for up to 7 years after HAART initiation were identified from the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS). Mean levels of total cholesterol (TC), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) were examined at biannual time-points. Results: Significant lipid changes were seen within 0.5 years of HAART initiation but increases in TC (+1.09 mmol/L), LDL-C (+0.57 mmol/L), HDL-C (+0.16 mmol/L) and non-HDL-C (+0.91 mmol/L) reached peak levels 2-3 years after HAART initiation. Declines in serum TC, LDL-C and non-HDL-C in subsequent years occurred concurrently with a substantial increase in use of lipid-lowering medications (from 1% usage pre-HAART to 43% 6-7 years after HAART initiation) but the proportion of men who either were treated with cholesterol-lowering medication or had elevated cholesterol levels (>5.18 mmol/L) did not change during the 2-7-year interval after HAART. Mean HDL-C also decreased after 2-3 years and was low (<1.04 mmol/L) in 55% of HIV-infected men 6-7 years after HAART initiation. Conclusions: Atherogenic serum lipids increased early after the initiation of HAART, peaked at 2-3 years and remained high or required treatment thereafter. Low HDL-C levels persisted in the majority of men. The long-term effects of lipid abnormalities on cardiovascular risk and the effectiveness and toxicity of prolonged use of lipid-lowering medications in combination with HAART are not known.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)280-287
Number of pages8
JournalHIV Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 2007


  • Cohort studies
  • Dyslipidemia
  • HIV infection
  • HIV-1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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