Degenerative aortic stenosis (DAS) is the most frequently diagnosed heart valve disease in Europe and North America. DAS is a chronic progressive disease which resembles development of atherosclerosis. Endothelial dysfunction, lipid infiltration, calcification and ossification are evidenced in both diseases. The same risk factors such as older age, male sex, smoking, and elevated levels of lipids are identified. The effect of smoking, visceral obesity, metabolic syndrome, hypercholesterolemia, low-density lipoprotein, high-density lipoprotein, lipoprotein(a), adiponectin and apolipoprotein(a) on development of DAS are being studied. The search for genetic ties between disorders of lipid metabolism and DAS has been started. DAS is characterized by a long symptom-free period which can last for several decades. Aortic valve replacement surgery is necessary when the symptoms occur. The lipid-lowering therapy effect on stopping or at least slowing down the progression of DAS was studied. However, the results of the conducted clinical trials are controversial. In addition, calcium homeostasis, bone metabolism and calcinosis-reducing medication are being studied. Although prospective randomized clinical trials have not demonstrated any positive effect of statins used for slowing progression of the disease, statins are still recommended for patients with dyslipidemia. Recent study has suggested that a specific modification of treatment, based on severity of disease, may have a beneficial effect in patients with aortic sclerosis and mild DAS. New clinical studies analyzing new treatment possibilities which could correct the natural course of the disease and reduce the need for aortic valve replacement by surgery or transcatheter treatment interventions are needed.
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