Statins slow progression of liver disease in patients with HIV, Hep C

Statins should be strongly considered in treatment of co-infected patients with liver disease, say Johns Hopkins researchers.
Statins should be strongly considered in treatment of co-infected patients with liver disease, say Johns Hopkins researchers.

SAN DIEGO — Patients treated with statins showed lower progression of liver disease and statins may be considered for use in patients co-infected with HIV and the hepatitis C virus, according to research presented at IDWeek 2015.

Nouf K. Almaghlouth, MBBS, MPH, from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, presented the data from the study that examined the relationship between statins and liver disease progression in co-infected patients seen at Johns Hopkins HIV Clinic Cohort between January 2005 and Dec. 31, 2014.

The researchers observed 1,366 coinfected patients and determined liver disease progression using the validated serum index, FIB-4. FIB-4 scores less than 1.45 were categorized with none or mild fibrosis, scores of 1.45 to 3.25 had moderate fibrosis, and anything above 3.25 was considered to be cirrhosis.  Liver disease progression was measured in non-cirrhotic patients.  Twenty-one percent of the coinfected cohort were administered statins. Among these, 136 were F0/1, 128 were F2/3, and 37 were F4.

Statin users were considerably older than the non-users with a median age of 44 to 48 years, and made up only 16.8% of the study cohort.  They were also 17% to 36% more likely to have diabetes and were 46% to 55% more likely to be taking antiretrovirals, the researchers noted.  

The incident rate per 1,000 person-years was 204.03 for statin users and 301.25 for statin nonusers.  

The researchers concluded that although statin use was uncommon in this cohort, “statins should be strongly considered in coinfected patients with indications for their use.”

Reference

1. Almaghlouth N, Sutcliffe C, Mehta S et al. Statins are Associated with Decreased Liver Disease Progression in HIV/HCV Coinfected Adults. Presented at: IDWeek 2015. Oct. 7-11, 2015, San Diego.

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