Effectiveness and safety of statins on outcomes in patients with HIV infection: A systematic review and meta-analysis


Statins are hypolipidaemic in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) positive individuals. However, their effect on all-cause mortality and rate of discontinuation is unclear. We conducted a systematic review to evaluate the impact of statins on all-cause mortality, discontinuation rates, and risk of adverse effects among HIV patients on highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). We searched four electronic databases from inception until October 2021 for trials and cohort studies evaluating the effects of statin treatment versus placebo in HIV patients. Forty-seven studies involving 91,594 patients were included. Statins were associated with significantly lower risk of discontinuation (RR, 0.701; 95% CI 0.508–0.967; p = 0.031). The risk of all-cause mortality (RR, 0.994; 95% CI 0.561–1.588; p = 0.827), any adverse effects (RR, 0.780; 95% CI 0.564–1.077; p = 0.131) and, diabetes mellitus (RR, 0.272; 95% CI 0.031–2.393; p = 0.241) with statin treatment were lower but not statistically significant compared to placebo/control. Statin treatment was associated with a trend of higher but statistically insignificant risk of myalgia (RR, 1.341; 95% CI 0.770–2.333; p = 0.299), elevated creatine kinase (RR, 1.101; 95% CI 0.457–2.651; p = 0.830) and liver enzyme activities (RR, 1.709; 95% CI 0.605–4.831; p = 0.312). Clinicians should consider the nocebo effect in the effective management of PLWH on statins, who present with common adverse effects such as myalgia and, elevated levels of creatine kinase and liver enzymes.


Vigny NN, Bonsu KO, Kadirvelu A




  • Epidemiology and Determinants of Health
    • Epidemiology
  • Population(s)
    • General HIV+ population
  • Prevention, Engagement and Care Cascade
    • Engagement and Care Cascade
  • Engagement and Care Cascade
    • Treatment


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