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Endocrine. 2015 Feb;48(1):279-86. doi: 10.1007/s12020-014-0292-0. Epub 2014 May 23.

Increased low-density lipoprotein cholesterol level is associated with non-vertebral fractures in postmenopausal women.

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  • 1Internal Medicine 1, Faculty of Medicine, Shimane University, 89-1, Enya-cho, Izumo, Shimane, 693-8501, Japan,


Although a high serum low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) level is an established risk factor for atherosclerosis, it is unclear whether it is associated with osteoporosis. In this study, the associations between the serum LDL-C level and bone mineral density (BMD), bone metabolic markers, and the presence of prevalent vertebral or non-vertebral fractures were examined. A total of 211 healthy postmenopausal women (age range, 46-80 years) who visited a community health center were recruited consecutively. Their radiographic and biochemical characteristics were collected. Prevalent vertebral and non-vertebral fractures were found in 49 (23.2%) and 36 (17.1%) subjects, respectively. Simple regression analyses showed that the serum LDL-C level was not significantly correlated with lumbar or femoral BMD or serum levels of total amino-terminal propeptide of type I collagen (PINP) or carboxy-terminal telopeptide of type I collagen (CTX). Logistic regression analyses adjusted for age and BMI showed that the increased serum LDL-C level was selected as an index affecting the presence of prevalent non-vertebral fractures, but not vertebral fractures. This result was still significant after additional adjustments for years since menopause, physical activity, previous cardiovascular events, bone markers, BMD, serum Ca, P, Cr, 25(OH)D, grip strength, tandem gait test, and use of drugs for hyperlipidemia [odds ratio 1.76 (1.13-2.73), p=0.012]. These findings suggest that a high serum LDL-C level may be a risk factor for prevalent non-vertebral fragility fractures independent of bone turnover, bone mass, vitamin D insufficiency, or frail status in postmenopausal women, and that it may be detrimental to bone, as well as blood vessels.

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