People coinfected with HIV and hepatitis C virus (HCV) are less likely to develop cirrhosis of the liver if they take a statin. Publishing their findings in the journal AIDS, researchers analyzed data on a cohort of 5,895 coinfected veterans from the Veterans Affairs HIV and HCV Clinical Case Registries covering 1999 to 2010.

The majority of the cohort was black, and the average age was 45.

Among those with normal levels of the liver enzyme alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels (at or below 40 international units per liter), for every 30 percent increase in the time spent taking a statin, the risk of developing cirrhosis dropped by 32 percent. Among individuals with ALT levels above 40 IU/L, those with diabetes and those with low high-density lipoprotein (HDL, or “good” cholesterol) had a respective 15 percent and 30 percent increased risk of developing cirrhosis.

To read the study abstract, click here.