Objectives: Low levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D are associated with higher risk of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Large trials demonstrated that statins significantly decrease cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. 7-dehydrocholesterol is the precursor of both cholesterol and vitamin D. The aim of this study was to investigate the possible effect of rosuvastatin on vitamin D metabolism.
Methods: The study was performed in a prospective cohort design. The study group consisted of 91 hyperlipidemic patients who had not been treated with lipid lowering medications. Lipid parameters, 25 hydroxyvitamin-D, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D, and bone alkaline phosphatase were obtained at baseline and after 8 weeks of rosuvastatin treatment.
Results: None of the subjects withdrew from the study because of the adverse effects. The mean age was 59.9 +/- 12.5 years. The majority of the patients were male (55, 60%). Seventeen patients were diabetic, and 43 patients had systemic hypertension. There was a significant increase in 25-hydroxyvitamin D, from mean 14.0 (range 3.7- 67) to mean 36.3 (range 3.8 -117) ng/ml (p < 0.001), and also an increase of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D from mean 22.9 +/- 11.2 to 26.6 +/- 9.3 pg/dl (p = 0.023). Bone alkaline phosphatase decreased after 8 weeks of rosuvastatin treatment, mean 17.7 (range 2.6-214) to mean 9.5 (range 2.3-19.1) u/l (p < 0.001) rosuvastatin treatment.
Conclusion: This study has shown an effect of rosuvastatin on vitamin D metabolism, with an increase in both 25-hydroxyvitamin D and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D. This may be an important pleiotropic effect whereby rosuvastatin reduces mortality in patients with coronary artery disease. Further studies are needed to clarify the relationship between statins and vitamin D metabolism.