Read the latest news featuring experts from the Metabolism Unit.

February 22, 2024

Substudy of REPRIEVE trial reveals how statin therapy prevents cardiovascular disease in people with HIV

In the largest trial to show that coronary CT angiography can track changes in plaque in response to a drug, Michael T. Lu, MD, MPH, and colleagues showed that pitavastatin reduced plaque buildup in the heart’s coronary arteries and lowered blood markers of inflammation. The findings could explain a reduction in cardiovascular events observed in people with HIV who take the drug.

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January 12, 2024

Research Spotlight: Eplerenone May Reduce Arterial Inflammation Among Individuals with HIV

Suman Srinivasa, MD, MS, a physician investigator in the Endocrine Division/Metabolism Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital and an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, is the first author of a new report in JAMA Cardiology, Mineralocorticoid Receptor Antagonism by Eplerenone and Arterial Inflammation in HIV.

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August 31, 2023

Statin cuts CV risk in patients with HIV

Treatment with pitavastatin is associated with a significantly lower risk of cardiovascular (CV) events in people living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) as shown in the final analysis of the double-blind, placebo-controlled REPRIEVE trial presented at IAS 2023.

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August 17, 2023

Preventing HIV’s Collateral Cardiovascular Damage — ITT Episode 15

People living with HIV have increased risk for cardiovascular disease (and other diseases of aging) earlier in life than those without HIV. In this episode of “Intention to Treat,” researcher Steven Grinspoon describes a new strategy for preventing collateral damage.

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July 26, 2023

Statins and HIV: how can the REPRIEVE findings be implemented in the real world?

Findings from the landmark REPRIEVE trial, which tested a daily statin medication for people living with HIV, were presented on Monday at the 12th International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Science (IAS 2023) and published in The New England Journal of Medicine. The results were presented at a symposium that also included a discussion of cardiovascular disease among people with HIV and the study’s implications for clinical practice.

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July 24, 2023

Pitavastatin lowers risk of cardiovascular events in people living with HIV

Primary prevention study enrolled people with HIV who would not normally be prescribed a statin

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July 24, 2023

IAS Conference Highlights: Heart Disease Prevention for People with HIV, Long-acting HIV Prevention and Treatment

During the first full day of sessions at the International AIDS Society’s 12th Conference on HIV Science (IAS 2023), shared conversations on important study findings about reducing cardiovascular disease among people with HIV and the latest developments with long-acting prevention and treatment options that could one day become safe and effective alternatives to daily oral pills.

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July 23, 2023

HIV patients face double the risk of heart disease. Taking a statin could help

Scientists have long known that people living with HIV face a higher risk of heart disease. The statin drug pitavastatin, however, might offer a solution.

In a phase 3 clinical trial, individuals with an HIV infection who took pitavastatin – a medication used to lower high cholesterol – were 35% less likely to suffer major heart complications, including heart attacks, heart failure or strokes. The findings were published on Sunday in The New England Journal of Medicine and presented at a meeting of the International AIDS Society in Brisbane, Australia.

The report offers a promising new way for individuals with HIV to better manage their heart health.

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April 11, 2023

Daily statin reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease in people living with HIV, large NIH study finds

A planned interim analysis of data from the Randomized Trial to Prevent Vascular Events in HIV (REPRIEVE) study found that participants who took pitavastatin calcium, a daily statin, lowered their risk of major adverse cardiovascular events by 35% compared with those receiving a placebo.

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April 06, 2023

COVID-19 in Pregnancy Affects Growth in Child's First Year of Life

In a recent longitudinal cohort study, Metabolism Unit investigators assessed growth trajectories in children born to mothers with and without COVID-19 during pregnancy. Children with in utero COVID-19 exposure were found to exhibit lower birth weight and accelerated weight gain in the first year of life. Since low birthweight and accelerated postnatal weight gain are risk factors for obesity and cardiometabolic disease, these findings may indicate potential long-term cardiometabolic risk for this novel population.

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March 27, 2023

Research Spotlight: Identification of pre-infection markers and differential plasma protein expression following SARS-CoV-2 infection in people living with HIV

Metabolism Unit investigators identify pre-infection markers and differential plasma protein expression following SARS-CoV-2 infection in people living with HIV

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March 9, 2023 

Met U Researchers Discover Proteomic Inflammatory Signature of Cellular Senescence Associated with More Severe COVID-19 in PWH 

Metabolism Unit researchers associated with the REPRIEVE study have leverage this large global trial to determine a proteomic signature marked by excess granzyme production and cellular senescence that is associated with more severe immune dysfunction and COVID-19 in people living with HIV. 

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January 17, 2023

Matters of the Heart: A Conversation with the 2022 CGH Discovery Fellow Sumy Thomas, MD

As Mass General’s 2021-2022 Center for Global Health Discovery Fellow, Sumy Thomas, MD, studied the impact of hormones on heart health in patients with HIV, as well as therapeutic drug targets to treat or even prevent heart disease.

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November 7, 2022

Diet Quality Is Suboptimal or Poor in Large Proportion of Global Population with HIV

Kathleen V. Fitch, MSN, a principal associate in medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, Steven K. Grinspoon, MD, chief of the Metabolism Unit, and colleagues recently conducted the first analysis of diet quality across a multinational cohort of people with HIV. In the journal AIDS, they report that diet quality was poor or suboptimal in 42% of individuals.

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October 28, 2022

Met U Researchers Work to Discover New Mechanisms and Treatment Strategies for Metabolic Diseases

Established in 2019, researchers in the Metabolism Unit at MGH have worked to discover new pathways of ectopic adipose accumulation, metabolic consequences of abnormal fat distribution and novel treatment strategies for related conditions including NAFLD and cardiovascular disease. Read about our new discoveries and research in this focus piece by the MGH Research Institute!

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July 28, 2021

Discovery’s role in addressing the medical skill shortage

When Dr Sumy Thomas returns from a secondment to Harvard Medical School, her research which focuses on work on the endocrine system of patients affected by HIV and AIDS, will be invaluable to the 7.7 million South Africans on antiretroviral treatment.

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July 6, 2021

About half of people living with HIV have coronary artery plaque despite low cardiac risk

Significant amounts of atherosclerotic plaque have been found in the coronary arteries of people with HIV, even in those considered by traditional measures to be at low-to-moderate risk of future heart disease, according to a study published in JAMA Network Open. This finding emerged from the global REPRIEVE (Randomized Trial to Prevent Vascular Events in HIV) study, in which Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) is playing a key coordinating role.

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March 2021

Steven Grinspoon, MD, on the Importance of Studying Treatments for Steatosis in HIV

In this video, Steven Grinspoon, MD, talks about why treatments for steatosis in HIV are important to study, including some reasons why most studies in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) do not include patients with HIV.

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September 10, 2020

Theratechnologies to Develop Tesamorelin for the Treatment of NASH in the General Population

Theratechnologies Inc.. (Theratechnologies) (TSX: TH) (NASDAQ: THTX), a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of innovative therapies, is pleased to announce that it plans to pursue Phase 3 clinical development of tesamorelin for the treatment of Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH) in the general population.

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