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BACKGROUND: Calcific aortic stenosis may have common etiological factors with atherosclerosis. HYPOTHESIS: In this retrospective, case-control study, we aimed to determine whether there is an association between hypercholesterolemia and calcific aortic valve stenosis. METHODS: Consecutive patients undergoing single aortic or mitral valve replacement in a regional cardiothoracic surgical center were reviewed and preoperative patient characteristics were recorded: demographics, comorbidity (including coronary artery disease and associated risk factors), serum total cholesterol, lipid-lowering therapy, and serum creatinine. RESULTS: Serum total cholesterol concentrations were significantly higher in patients with calcific aortic stenosis than in controls (6.2+/-1.1 vs. 5.3+/-1.1 mmol/l; p < 0.001). The significant difference in serum cholesterol concentrations remained following correction for gender and body mass index (p = 0.02) and when patients with coronary artery disease were excluded (6.3+/-1.1 vs. 5.3+/-1.4 mmol/l; p<0.001). Subgroup analysis demonstrated that the association between elevated serum cholesterol concentrations and calcific aortic stenosis was particularly strong in patients with tricuspid aortic valves (6.4+/-1.2 vs. 5.3+/-1.1 mmol/l; p < 0.001) compared with those with bicuspid valves (5.9+/-1.1 vs. 5.3+/-1.1 mmol/l; p = 0.06). CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that hypercholesterolemia is associated with calcific aortic stenosis and may be implicated in its pathogenesis and progression. We believe that there is now a need for a randomized, controlled trial of cholesterol-lowering therapy in patients with calcific aortic stenosis.

Original publication




Journal article


Clin cardiol

Publication Date





52 - 55


Aged, Anticholesteremic Agents, Aortic Valve Stenosis, Calcinosis, Case-Control Studies, Cholesterol, Coronary Disease, Female, Heart Valve Prosthesis Implantation, Humans, Hypercholesterolemia, Male, Middle Aged, Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic, Retrospective Studies, Risk Factors