Background: Hypercholesterolemia is common in perinatally HIV-infected (HIV+) children, but little is known about the clinical course and management in this population.
Methods: We studied HIV+ children in a multisite prospective cohort study (Pediatric AIDS Clinical Trials Group 219C) and considered follow-up for 2 years after development of hypercholesterolemia. We estimated the time and factors associated with resolution of hypercholesterolemia and described changes in antiretroviral regimen and use of lipid-lowering medications. We defined incident hypercholesterolemia as entry total cholesterol (cholesterol) <220 mg/dL and 2 subsequent consecutive cholesterol ≥ 220 mg/dL and defined resolution of hypercholesterolemia as 2 consecutive cholesterol <200 mg/dL after incident hypercholesterolemia.
Results: Among 240 incident hypercholesterolemia cases, 81 (34%) had resolution to normal cholesterol within 2 years of follow-up (median follow-up = 1.9 years). The median age of cases was 10.3 years with 54% non-Hispanic black and 53% male. Resolution to normal cholesterol was more likely in children who changed antiretroviral regimen (adjusted hazard ratio = 2.37, 95% confidence interval: 1.45 to 3.88) and who were 13 years and older (aHR = 2.39, 95% confidence interval: 1.33 to 4.27). Types of regimen changes varied greatly, and 15 children began statins.
Conclusion: The majority of children who develop hypercholesterolemia maintain elevated levels over time, potentially placing them at risk for premature cardiovascular morbidity.