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Retrovirology. 2018 Dec 14;15(1):77. doi: 10.1186/s12977-018-0460-z.

Lipid levels, insulin resistance and cardiovascular risk over 96 weeks of antiretroviral therapy: a randomised controlled trial comparing low-dose stavudine and tenofovir.

Author information

1
Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. avos@wrhi.ac.za.
2
Julius Global Health, Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands. avos@wrhi.ac.za.
3
Department of Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands. avos@wrhi.ac.za.
4
Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.
5
Julius Global Health, Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands.
6
Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.
7
Infectious Diseases Institute, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda.
8
YRGCARE Medical Centre, CART Clinical Research Site, Voluntary Health Services, Chennai, India.
9
Department of Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

HIV infection and antiretroviral treatment are associated with changes in lipid levels, insulin resistance and risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). We investigated these changes in the first 96 weeks of treatment with low-dose stavudine or tenofovir regimens.

METHODS:

This is a secondary analysis of a double blind, randomised controlled trial performed in South-Africa, Uganda and India comparing low-dose stavudine (20 mg twice daily) with tenofovir in combination with efavirenz and lamivudine in antiretroviral-naïve adults (n = 1067) (Clinicaltrials.gov, NCT02670772). Over 96 weeks, data were collected on fasting lipids, glucose and insulin. Insulin resistance was assessed with the HOMA-IR index and 10-year CVD risk with the Framingham risk score (FRS). A generalized linear mixed model was used to estimate trends over time.

RESULTS:

Participants were on average 35.3 years old, 57.6% female and 91.8% Black African. All lipid levels increased following treatment initiation, with the sharpest increase in the first 24 weeks of treatment. The increase in all lipid subcomponents over 96 weeks was higher among those in the stavudine than the tenofovir group. Insulin resistance increased steadily with no difference detected between study groups. FRS rose from 1.90% (1.84-1.98%) at baseline to 2.06 (1.98-2.15%) at week 96 for the total group, with no difference between treatment arms (p = 0.144). Lipid changes were more marked in Indian than African participants.

CONCLUSION:

Lipid levels increased in both groups, with low-dose stavudine resulting in a worse lipid profile compared to tenofovir. Insulin resistance increased, with no difference between regimens. CVD risk increased over time and tended to increase more in the group on stavudine. The low CVD risk across both arms argues against routine lipid and glucose monitoring in the absence of other CVD risk factors. In high risk patients, monitoring may only be appropriate at least a year after treatment initiation.

KEYWORDS:

Cardiovascular disease risk; HIV; India; South Africa; Stavudine; Tenofovir; Uganda

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