NIH finds that daily statin reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease in people living with HIV

Heather RibaudoDecades of research and advances in HIV treatment have drastically reduced AIDS-related complications and deaths. As people with HIV live longer, premature heart disease and other chronic conditions have emerged as leading causes of morbidity and mortality.  Heather Ribaudo, Ph.D., a principal research scientist at the Center for Biostatistics in AIDS Research and the Department of Biostatistics, serves as a lead of the Data Coordinating Center for a clinical trial called Randomized Trial to Prevent Vascular Events in HIV (REPRIEVE).  She recently shared that the trial, which has been active since 2015, was stopped early by the Data Safety and Monitoring Board.

As explained in a news release from the NIH, REPRIEVE was stopped because a daily statin medication was found to reduce the increased risk of cardiovascular disease among people living with HIV in the first large-scale clinical study to test a primary cardiovascular prevention strategy in this population. A planned interim analysis of data from the REPRIEVE study found that participants who took pitavastatin calcium, a daily statin, lowered their risk of major adverse cardiovascular events by 35% compared with those receiving a placebo. This is exciting news, according to acting NIAID Director Hugh Auchincloss, M.D.  reflecting “the evolution of HIV science, and progress from focusing mostly on approaches to treat and control the virus to finding ways to improve the overall health of people living with HIV”.