HIV infection and lipids

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Abstract

Purpose of review

We comment on the role of dyslipidaemia in cardiovascular disease (CVD) in HIV-infected patients. We have discussed various risk factors, including traditional CVD risk factors, HIV-related risk factors and antiretroviral therapy (ART)-induced dyslipidaemia.

Recent findings

HIV-infected individuals are prone to lipid and lipoprotein abnormalities as a result of the infection itself and the effect of ART. The older drugs used for the treatment of HIV were associated with an increased risk of these abnormalities. New therapies used to treat HIV are lipid friendly. Calculating CVD risk in the HIV population is complex due to the infection itself and the ART-related factors. The advancement in ART has helped to increase the life expectancy of HIV patients. As a result, a growing number of patients die of non-HIV related complications such as CVD, hepatic and renal disease. Outcome studies with intervention for dyslipidaemia in HIV are underway.

Summary

The implications of the above findings suggest that all patients with HIV should undergo a CVD risk assessment before starting ART. Appropriate lipid-friendly ART regimen should be initiated along with intervention for associated CVD risk factors (e.g. lipids, hypertension and smoking).

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