Cardiovascular outcomes among HIV-infected veterans receiving atazanavir

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Patients with HIV infection have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease compared with uninfected individuals. Antiretroviral therapy with atazanavir (ATV) delays progression of atherosclerosis markers; whether this reduces cardiovascular disease event risk compared with other antiretroviral regimens is currently unknown.


Population-based, noninterventional, historical cohort study conducted from 1 July 2003 through 31 December 2015.


Veterans Health Administration hospitals and clinics throughout the United States.


Treatment-naive patients with HIV infection (N = 9500).

Antiretroviral exposures:

Initiating antiretroviral regimens containing ATV, other protease inhibitors, nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs), or integrase strand transfer inhibitors (INSTIs).

Main outcome/effect size measures:

Incidence rates of myocardial infarction (MI), stroke, and all-cause mortality within each regimen. ATV versus other protease inhibitor, NNRTI, or INSTI covariate-adjusted hazard ratios by using Cox proportional hazards models and inverse probability of treatment weighting.


Incidence rates for MI, stroke, and all-cause mortality with ATV-containing regimens (5.2, 10.4, and 16.0 per 1000 patient-years, respectively) were lower than with regimens containing other protease inhibitors (10.2, 21.9, and 23.3 per 1000 patient-years), NNRTIs (7.5, 15.9, and 17.5 per 1000 patient-years), or INSTIs (13.0, 33.1, and 21.5 per 1000 patient-years). After inverse probability of treatment weighting, adjusted hazard ratios (95% confidence intervals) for MI, stroke, and all-cause mortality with ATV-containing regimens versus all non-ATV-containing regimens were 0.59 (0.41–0.84), 0.64 (0.50–0.81), and 0.90 (0.73–1.11), respectively.


Among treatment-naive HIV-infected patients in the Veterans Health Administration initiating ATV-containing regimens, risk of both MI and stroke were significantly lower than in those initiating regimens containing other protease inhibitors, NNRTIs, or INSTIs.

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