Background The risk of cardiovascular disease is increased among persons with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), so data regarding primary prevention strategies in this population are needed.
Methods In this phase 3 trial, we randomly assigned 7769 participants with HIV with a low-to-moderate risk of cardiovascular disease who were receiving antiretroviral therapy to receive daily pitavastatin calcium (at a dose of 4 mg) or placebo. The primary outcome was the occurrence of a major adverse cardiovascular event, which was defined as a composite of cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction, hospitalization for unstable angina, stroke, transient ischemic attack, peripheral arterial ischemia, revascularization, or death from an undetermined cause.
Results The median age of the participants was 50 years (interquartile range, 45 to 55); the median CD4 count was 621 cells per cubic millimeter (interquartile range, 448 to 827), and the HIV RNA value was below quantification in 5250 of 5997 participants (87.5%) with available data. The trial was stopped early for efficacy after a median follow-up of 5.1 years (interquartile range, 4.3 to 5.9). The incidence of a major adverse cardiovascular event was 4.81 per 1000 person-years in the pitavastatin group and 7.32 per 1000 person-years in the placebo group (hazard ratio, 0.65; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.48 to 0.90; P=0.002). Muscle-related symptoms occurred in 91 participants (2.3%) in the pitavastatin group and in 53 (1.4%) in the placebo group; diabetes mellitus occurred in 206 participants (5.3%) and in 155 (4.0%), respectively.
Conclusion Participants with HIV who received pitavastatin had a lower risk of a major adverse cardiovascular event than those who received placebo over a median follow-up of 5.1 years. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health and others; REPRIEVE ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02344290.)