Effect of pravastatin on body composition and markers of cardiovascular disease in HIV-infected men—a randomized, placebo-controlled study

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Abstract

Objectives:

To determine the effect of the 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase inhibitor, pravastatin, on markers of cardiovascular risk and lipodystrophy in HIV-infected, protease inhibitor (PI)-treated men with hypercholesterolaemia.

Methods:

A randomized, placebo-controlled, 16-week study was carried out on 33 HIV-infected, hypercholesterolaemic men (fasting total cholesterol > 6.5mmol/L) on PI-containing therapy. Patients commenced dietary assessment and advice at week 0 and were randomized to 12 weeks pravastatin (40 mg each night) or placebo from week 4. The primary endpoint was the time-weighted change (TWAUC) in total cholesterol from week 0. Secondary endpoints included TWAUC cholesterol from week 4 (start of pravastatin), total and regional body fat, fasting lipids, glucose, insulin, and markers of cardiovascular risk.

Results:

Of 33 men randomized (pravastatin n = 16, mean age 48 years), 31 completed the study. Groups were matched for baseline cholesterol and body composition. Although there was no significant between-group difference in TWAUC cholesterol from week 0 (pravastatin −0.6 ± 1.0 versus placebo −0.4 ± 1.0 mmol/L/week; P = 0.8), TWAUC cholesterol from week 4 decreased more in the pravastatin group (−0.8 ± 1.0 versus −0.3 ± 0.9 mmol/L/week; P = 0.04). Neither triglycerides nor dietary intake changed. Subcutaneous fat increased significantly with pravastatin (+0.72 ± 1.55 versus +0.19 ± 0.48 kg change in limb fat, P < 0.04; +5.2 ± 8.7 versus −1.3 ± 13.7 cm2 change in abdominal subcutaneous fat, P = 0.02). Apart from homocystine, which decreased in the pravastatin group, there were no significant differences in other cardiovascular, lipid or glucose parameters.

Conclusions:

Despite limited effects on cholesterol, 12 weeks use of pravastatin 40 mg each night in HIV-infected men with hypercholesterolaemia resulted in significant increases in subcutaneous fat.

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