The JUPITER lipid lowering trial and vitamin D: Is there a connection?

Faculty of Science (Emeritus)
Dermato-Endocrinology 04/2010; 2(2):50-4. DOI: 10.4161/derm.2.2.13235
Source: PubMed


There is growing evidence that vitamin D deficiency significantly increases the risk of adverse cardiovascular events and that a vitamin D status representing sufficiency or optimum is protective. Unfortunately, in clinical trials that address interventions for reducing risk of adverse cardiovascular events, vitamin D status is not generally measured. Failure to do this has now assumed greater importance with the report of a study that found rosuvastatin at doses at the level used in a recent large randomized lipid lowering trial (JUPITER) had a large and significant impact on vitamin D levels as measured by the metabolite 25-hydroxyvitamin D. The statin alone appears to have increased this marker such that the participants on average went from deficient to sufficient in two months. The difference in cardiovascular risk between those deficient and sufficient in vitamin D in observational studies was similar to the risk reduction found in JUPITER. Thus it appears that this pleiotropic effect of rosuvastatin may be responsible for part of its unusual effectiveness in reducing the risk of various cardiovascular endpoints found in JUPITER and calls into question the interpretation based only on LDL cholesterol and CRP changes. In addition, vitamin D status is a cardiovascular risk factor which up until now has not been considered in adjusting study results or in multivariate analysis, and even statistical analysis using only baseline values may be inadequate.

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