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Calcif Tissue Int. 2006 Aug;79(2):102-11. Epub 2006 Aug 16.

Volumetric and areal bone mineral density measures are associated with cardiovascular disease in older men and women: the health, aging, and body composition study.

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Department of Epidemiology, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, 130 DeSoto Street, 127 Parran Hall, PA 15261, USA.


The associations of volumetric (vBMD) and areal (aBMD) bone mineral density measures with prevalent cardiovascular disease (CVD) and subclinical peripheral arterial disease (PAD) were investigated in a cohort of older men and women enrolled in the Health, Aging, and Body Composition Study. Participants were 3,075 well-functioning white and black men and women (42% black, 51% women), aged 68-80 years. Total hip, femoral neck, and trochanter aBMD were measured using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Quantitative computed tomography was used to evaluate spine trabecular, integral, and cortical vBMD measures in a subgroup (n = 1,489). Logistic regression was performed to examine associations of BMD measures with CVD and PAD. The prevalence of CVD (defined by coronary heart disease, PAD, cerebrovascular disease, or congestive heart failure) was 29.8%. Among participants without CVD, 10% had subclinical PAD (defined as ankle-arm index <0.9). Spine vBMD measures were inversely associated with CVD in men (odds ratio of integral [OR(integral)] = 1.34, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.10-1.63; OR(trabecular )= 1.25, 95% CI 1.02-1.53; OR(cortical )= 1.36, 95% CI 1.11-1.65). In women, for each standard deviation decrease in integral vBMD, cortical vBMD, or trochanter aBMD, the odds of CVD were significantly increased by 28%, 27%, and 22%, respectively. Total hip aBMD was associated with subclinical PAD in men (OR = 1.39, 95% CI 1.03-1.84) but not in women. All associations were independent of age and shared risk factors between BMD and CVD and were not influenced by inflammatory cytokines (interleukin-6 and tumor necrosis factors-alpha). In conclusion, our results provide further evidence for an inverse association between BMD and CVD in men and women. Future research should investigate common pathophysiological links for osteoporosis and CVD.

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