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Medical News & Perspectives
August 18, 2015

Exploring Statins to Decrease HIV-Related Heart Disease Risk

JAMA. 2015;314(7):657-659. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.5498

Antiretroviral therapy (ART) has been a lifeline for untold numbers of patients with HIV. But as mounting evidence shows the infection may increase their risk of cardiovascular disease with age, new research is targeting statins as a potential preventive agent for people living with HIV.

Even when investigators have controlled for traditional risk factors such as elevated cholesterol, hypertension, and smoking, their findings suggest patients with HIV are significantly more likely to have myocardial infarctions or other types of cardiovascular disease than those without the infection. For example, data from 82 459 participants in the Veterans Aging Cohort Study showed that after nearly 6 years of follow-up, participants with HIV and no baseline cardiovascular disease had a 50% increased risk of acute myocardial infarction compared with participants who didn’t have HIV or heart disease (Freiberg MS et al. JAMA Intern Med. 2013;173[8]:614-622).