Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol response after statin initiation among persons living with human immunodeficiency virus

J Clin Lipidol. 2018 Jul-Aug;12(4):988-998.e5. doi: 10.1016/j.jacl.2018.03.082. Epub 2018 Mar 29.


Background: Meta-analyses of general population studies report mean low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) reductions of 30% to <50% with moderate-intensity and ≥50% with high-intensity statins. Persons living with human immunodeficiency virus (PLWH) are at high risk for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD), yet many have elevated LDL-C.

Objective: To evaluate LDL-C response after statin initiation among PLWH.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of PLWH initiating statins between 2009 and 2013 (N = 706). Patients were categorized into mutually exclusive groups in the following hierarchy: history of coronary heart disease (CHD), diabetes, prestatin LDL-C ≥190 mg/dL, 10-year predicted ASCVD risk ≥7.5%, and none of the above (ie, unknown statin indication). The primary outcome was a ≥30% reduction in LDL-C after statin initiation.

Results: Among patients initiating statins, 5.8% had a history of CHD, 13.6% had diabetes, 6.2% had LDL-C ≥190 mg/dL, 35.4% had 10-year ASCVD risk ≥7.5%, and 39.0% had an unknown statin indication. Among patients with a history of CHD, 31.7% achieved a ≥30% LDL-C reduction compared with 25.0%, 59.1%, and 33.9% among those with diabetes, LDL-C ≥190 mg/dL, and 10-year ASCVD risk ≥7.5%, respectively. In multivariable adjusted analyses and compared to patients with an unknown statin indication, LDL-C ≥ 190 mg/dL was associated with a prevalence ratio for an LDL-C reduction ≥30% of 1.81 (95% confidence interval, 1.34-2.45), whereas no statistically significant association was present for history of CHD, diabetes, and 10-year ASCVD risk ≥7.5%.

Conclusion: A low percentage of PLWH achieved the expected reductions in LDL-C after statin initiation, highlighting an unmet need for ASCVD risk reduction.

Keywords: Cardiovascular disease; Dyslipidemia; HIV infection; Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol; Statin.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Atherosclerosis / diagnosis*
  • Atherosclerosis / epidemiology
  • Atherosclerosis / etiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood*
  • Coronary Disease / pathology
  • Diabetes Mellitus / pathology
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / complications
  • HIV Infections / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors


  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors