Background Aortic sclerosis is found in approximately 25% of elderly people in the United States. Aortic stenosis develops in only 2% to 3% of people older than 75 years. Calcific aortic stenosis is thought to result from aging and “wear and tear” of the aortic valve. However, aortic sclerosis may represent an early stage in the progression to aortic stenosis, in the presence of risk factors. We sought to study the risk factor profile of patients with aortic stenosis and compare them with the risk factors in patients with aortic sclerosis.
Method 31 consecutive patients with echocardiographic findings of aortic sclerosis were screened for atherosclerotic risk factors, namely hypertension (HTN), diabetes mellitus (DM), smoking, lipid profiles, family history of premature coronary artery disease (CAD) and for clinical presence of atherosclerosis, stroke and peripheral arterial disease (PAD). 31 consecutive patients with clinical and echocardiographic findings of aortic stenosis were evaluated for comparison.
Result The average age of patients with aortic stenosis and aortic sclerosis were 78 and 77.6 years respectively. 14 were males in each group. HTN, DM, smoking were present in 25, 9, 8 and 22, 10, 2 patients in aortic stenosis and aortic sclerosis group respectively. PAD, stroke and CAD were present in 3, 6, 15 and 2, 4, 13 patients in the respective groups. Lipid profile is shown below. (table)
Conclusion In this small study, patients with aortic stenosis had higher LDL levels, which was statistically significant compared with patients of similar age with aortic sclerosis. Though more patients with aortic stenosis were smokers, it was not statistically significant. Lowering LDL levels may play a role in reducing the progression of aortic sclerosis to aortic stenosis.