Statins for primary cardiovascular disease prevention among people with HIV: Emergent directions


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: While people with HIV (PWH) are living longer due to advances in antiretroviral therapy, recent data have demonstrated an increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) among this population. This increased risk is thought to be due to both traditional (for example, smoking, diabetes) and HIV-specific (for example, inflammation, persistent immune activation) risk factors. This review focuses on the potential for statin therapy to mitigate this increased risk. RECENT FINDINGS: Several randomized clinical trials have demonstrated that statins, a class of lipid-lowering medications, are effective as a primary CVD prevention strategy among people without HIV. Among PWH, statins have been shown to lower cholesterol, exert immunomodulatory effects, stabilize coronary atherosclerotic plaque, and even induce plaque regression. SUMMARY: Prevention of CVD among the aging population of people with controlled, but chronic, HIV is vital. Data exploring primary prevention in this context are thus far limited. The Randomized Trial to Prevent Vascular Events in HIV (REPRIEVE) is ongoing; this trial will inform the field by investigating the effects of pitavastatin calcium as a primary prevention strategy for major adverse cardiovascular events among PWH on antiretroviral therapy (ART) at low-to-moderate traditional CVD risk.


Fitch KV, Fulda ES, Grinspoon SK




  • Population(s)
    • General HIV+ population
  • Co-morbidities
    • Cardiovascular


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