Antiretroviral therapy-associated hyperlipidaemia in HIV disease

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Widespread utilization of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) for HIV-infection, primarily protease inhibitors in combination with nucleoside analogue reverse transcriptase inhibitors, has recently led to a sustained reduction in the morbidity and mortality of this disease. However, administration of HAART is frequently associated with the development of lipid disorders. The severity and prevalence of dyslipidaemia vary, depending on the type of HAART, nutritional status, HIV disease stage, and concomitant presence of lipodystrophy and insulin resistance (two additional adverse effects of HAART). The mechanism that is responsible for HAART-associated dyslipidaemia remains incompletely understood. Recent data indicate that this effect may be, at least in part, accounted for by protease inhibitor-mediated inhibition of the proteasome activity and accumulation of the active portion of sterol regulatory element-binding protein-1c in liver cells and adipocytes. Whether lipid disorders in HIV-infected patients receiving HAART translate into an increased cardiovascular risk, and the indications for lipid-lowering interventions in this population, remain to be established.

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