A large body of clinical and experimental evidence suggests a relationship of atherosclerosis to an alteration in lipid metabolism. These observations, together with consistent reports that serum cholesterol levels are significantly higher in patients with coronary artery disease than in control subjects, have stimulated an increasing interest in cholesterol-lowering procedures for the treatment of atherosclerosis. The anticholesterol measures which are under current investigation include low-fat and low-caloric diets and treatment with essential and unsaturated fatty acids, nicotinic acid, estrogens, thyroid compounds, and sitosterols. One of the most recently developed cholesterol-lowering agents and apparently an important one is triparanol, an inhibitor of cholesterol biosynthesis. The clinical as well as the metabolic effects of this compound are described in an article appearing in this issue of The Journal, p. 5. Special consideration also is given in this communication to the mode of action of the drug on serum cholesterol.
One of the