Objective: The aim of the study was to describe longitudinal changes in serum lipids among HIV-infected men receiving highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) with long-term follow-up. Methods: A total of 304 HIV-infected men who initiated HAART and who had serum lipid measurements prior to and for up to 7 years after HAART initiation were identified from the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS). Mean levels of total cholesterol (TC), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) were examined at biannual time-points. Results: Significant lipid changes were seen within 0.5 years of HAART initiation but increases in TC (+1.09 mmol/L), LDL-C (+0.57 mmol/L), HDL-C (+0.16 mmol/L) and non-HDL-C (+0.91 mmol/L) reached peak levels 2-3 years after HAART initiation. Declines in serum TC, LDL-C and non-HDL-C in subsequent years occurred concurrently with a substantial increase in use of lipid-lowering medications (from 1% usage pre-HAART to 43% 6-7 years after HAART initiation) but the proportion of men who either were treated with cholesterol-lowering medication or had elevated cholesterol levels (>5.18 mmol/L) did not change during the 2-7-year interval after HAART. Mean HDL-C also decreased after 2-3 years and was low (<1.04 mmol/L) in 55% of HIV-infected men 6-7 years after HAART initiation. Conclusions: Atherogenic serum lipids increased early after the initiation of HAART, peaked at 2-3 years and remained high or required treatment thereafter. Low HDL-C levels persisted in the majority of men. The long-term effects of lipid abnormalities on cardiovascular risk and the effectiveness and toxicity of prolonged use of lipid-lowering medications in combination with HAART are not known.
- Cohort studies
- HIV infection