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Calcif Tissue Int. 2006 Jan;78(1):1-8. Epub 2006 Jan 6.

Abdominal aortic calcification and exostoses at the hand and lumbar spine: the Framingham Study.

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Hebrew SeniorLife and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.


Bony proliferation (exostoses) and vascular calcification are common in elderly men and women, but it is unclear whether they have a common etiology. Lateral lumbar and hand radiographs were obtained (1967-1970) in 777 men and 1,241 women (mean age 59, range 47-80 years) from the Framingham Heart Study. Each group of hand exostoses, specifically apiostoses (tufting), enthesophytes, and osteophytes, was graded on a scale of 0-3 (absent to severe) and summed across phalanges of digits 2-5. Anterior lumbar osteophytes were assessed in intervertebral spaces T12-L5 and abdominal aortic calcification (AAC) at lumbar segments L1-L4. Information on age, sex, body mass index, smoking, alcohol consumption, physical activity, systolic blood pressure, total cholesterol level, diabetes, and estrogen replacement therapy in women was obtained at the time of radiography and adjusted for in multivariate analyses. We used multivariable logistic regression models to assess the relationship between AAC (dependent variable) and exostoses for each sex. Multivariable adjusted logistic regression revealed a significant association between increased anterior lumbar osteophytes and prevalent AAC in men [odds ratio (OR) = 1.20, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.1-1.3 per unit increase in osteophytes] and in women (OR = 1.25, 95% CI 1.1-1.4). There also was an inverse association between enthesophytes and AAC in women only (OR = 0.82, 95% CI 0.73-0.92). Apiostoses were weakly associated with AAC in men only. Hand osteophytes were not associated with AAC. In conclusion, in this cross-sectional study, anterior lumbar osteophytes and AAC occurred in the same individuals after adjustment for age and other covariates. In general, hand exostoses were not associated with aortic calcification.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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