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Atherosclerosis. 2015 Jul;241(1):278-83. doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2015.02.013. Epub 2015 Feb 9.

Bone health and coronary artery calcification: The Rotterdam Study.

Author information

1
Department of Internal Medicine, Erasmus MC, 3000 CA Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
2
Department of Epidemiology, Erasmus MC, 3000 CA Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
3
Department of Internal Medicine, Erasmus MC, 3000 CA Rotterdam, The Netherlands; Department of Epidemiology, Erasmus MC, 3000 CA Rotterdam, The Netherlands; Netherlands Genomics Initiative-Sponsored Netherlands Consortium for Healthy Ageing (NCHA), 2300 RC Leiden, The Netherlands.
4
Department of Epidemiology, Erasmus MC, 3000 CA Rotterdam, The Netherlands; Netherlands Genomics Initiative-Sponsored Netherlands Consortium for Healthy Ageing (NCHA), 2300 RC Leiden, The Netherlands.
5
Department of Internal Medicine, Erasmus MC, 3000 CA Rotterdam, The Netherlands; Department of Epidemiology, Erasmus MC, 3000 CA Rotterdam, The Netherlands; Netherlands Genomics Initiative-Sponsored Netherlands Consortium for Healthy Ageing (NCHA), 2300 RC Leiden, The Netherlands. Electronic address: m.c.zillikens@erasmusmc.nl.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

Vascular calcification has been associated inconsistently to low bone mineral density and fractures. The aims of the present study were to investigate the associations between coronary artery calcification (CAC) and BMD change, BMD and fracture risk in elderly subjects of the population-based Rotterdam Study.

METHODS:

BMD was assessed through dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry and CAC through Electron-Beam Computed Tomography in 582 men and 694 women. We investigated the associations between BMD change (6.4 years follow-up) and CAC at follow-up and between BMD and CAC (measured simultaneously). In sensitivity analyses we stratified analyses for estradiol levels in women. The association between CAC and fracture risk (9 years follow-up) was tested through competing-risks models. Models were sex-stratified and adjusted for age, body mass index, smoking, bisphosphonate use and age at menopause.

RESULTS:

There was no association between BMD change and CAC in men. In women, each 1% increase in annual BMD loss was significantly associated with higher follow-up CAC [β = 0.22 (0.06-0.38), p=0.006; prevalence ratio: 4%]. Stratified analyses showed significant associations between BMD loss and follow-up CAC only in women with lower estradiol levels. We found no association between CAC and fracture risk and no association between BMD and CAC cross-sectionally.

CONCLUSIONS:

BMD loss was associated with higher follow-up CAC in women, which might be related to low estrogen levels. No association between CAC and BMD or fracture risk was found. Further studies are required to elucidate the mechanisms that might underlie the association between BMD change and coronary calcification in women.

KEYWORDS:

BMD loss; Bone turnover; Coronary artery calcification; Estradiol levels

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