Daily statin reduces heart disease risk among adults living with HIV
A new study published in NEJM found that cholesterol-lowering statin drugs helped curb the risk of significant CVD in people living with HIV by more than one-third, potentially preventing one in five major CV events or premature deaths in this population.
Individuals living with HIV are at a much higher risk of CVD.
For the Phase III trial, REPRIEVE study researchers randomized patients in either a treatment group that administered a daily statin (pitavastatin calcium) or a control group that provided a placebo.
The researchers followed participants for about 5 years. However, the trial ended early after investigators found the treatment benefits outweighed possible risks.
Researchers found that participants who took daily pitavastatin had 35% fewer major CV events compared with placebo recipients. Patients in the treatment group were also 21% less likely than those in the placebo group to experience such CV events, and pitavastatin recipients had a 30% reduction in their LDL cholesterol levels.
“Lowering LDL cholesterol levels reduces risks for CV events, like having a heart attack and stroke, but these findings suggest there may be additional effects of statin therapy that explain these reduced risks among people living with HIV,” said study chair Steven K. Grinspoon, MD, in a news release. “Ongoing research about how statin therapy may affect inflammation and increase immune activation among people with HIV may help us better understand the additional benefits we’re seeing with this treatment approach.”