No association of abacavir use with myocardial infarction: Findings of an FDA meta-analysis


BACKGROUND: Several studies have reported an association between abacavir (ABC) exposure and increased risk of myocardial infarction (MI) among HIV-infected individuals. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and a pooled analysis by GlaxoSmithKline, however, do not support this association. To better estimate the effect of ABC use on risk of MI, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) conducted a trial-level meta-analysis of RCTs in which ABC use was randomized as part of a combined antiretroviral regimen. METHODS: From a literature search conducted among 4 databases, 26 RCTs were selected that met the following criteria: conducted in adults, sample size more than 50 subjects, status completed, not a pharmacokinetic trial, and not conducted in Africa. The Mantel-Haenszel method, with risk difference and 95% confidence interval, was used for the primary analysis, along with additional alternative analyses, based on FDA-requested adverse event reports of MI provided by each investigator. RESULTS: The 26 RCTs were conducted from 1996 to 2010, and included 9868 subjects (5028 ABC and 4840 non-ABC). Mean follow-up was 1.43 person-years in the ABC group and 1.49 person-years in the non-ABC group. Forty-six (0.47%) MI events were reported [24 (0.48%) ABC and 22 (0.46%) non-ABC], with no significant difference noted between the 2 groups (risk difference of 0.008% with 95% confidence interval: -0.26% to 0.27%). CONCLUSIONS: To the best of our knowledge, our study represents the largest trial-level meta-analysis to date of clinical trials in which ABC use was randomized. Our analysis found no association between ABC use and MI risk.


Ding X, Andraca-Carrera E, Cooper C, Miele P, Kornegay C, Soukup M, Marcus KA.




  • Population(s)
    • General HIV- population
  • Engagement and Care Cascade
    • Treatment


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