Significance of intima-media thickness in femoral artery in the determination of calcaneus osteo-sono index but not of lumbar spine bone mass in healthy Japanese people

Osteoporos Int. 2005 Jan;16(1):64-70. doi: 10.1007/s00198-004-1642-1. Epub 2004 May 27.


The aim of this cross-sectional study was to investigate whether physical activity and local arterial thickening may affect bone metabolism. To analyze the effects of physical activity and atherosclerosis on bone in healthy Japanese people, health-related quality of life (HRQL) and local arterial thickening were assessed by means of the Medical( )Outcomes Study 36-item Short Form (SF-36), and intimal-medial thickness (IMT) in common carotid artery (CA) and femoral artery (FA), respectively. Bone mineral density (BMD) in lumbar spine was measured by dual X-ray absorptiometry and the osteo-sono assessment index (OSI) of the calcaneus by ultrasound. Healthy subjects (106 male and 154 female) were recruited from those who participated in a local health check program at the Osaka City University Hospital. A significant correlation existed between lumbar spine BMD and calcaneus OSI (r=0.551, P<0.0001). Among various scores in SF-36, only physical functioning score correlated weakly but significantly in a positive manner with lumbar spine BMD (rho=0.156, P=0.0147) and calcaneus OSI (rho=0.190, P=0.0024). Lumbar spine BMD correlated negatively with FA IMT (rho=-0.191, P=0.0027) whereas calcaneus OSI with FA IMT (rho=-0.199, P=0.0014). Multiple regression analyses revealed a significant association between FA IMT and calcaneus OSI, whereas lumbar spine BMD did not correlate significantly with FA or CA IMT. When subjects were restricted to female, FA IMT, but not CA IMT, still showed tendency against independent factors negatively associated with calcaneus OSI. Furthermore, lumbar spine BMD, but not calcaneus OSI, was weakly but significantly associated with increased physical functioning score independently. In conclusion, it was suggested that physical activity may affect bone strength in lumbar spine and calcaneus and that FA IMT might be a significant determinant of bone strength in calcaneus, but not in lumbar spine, in healthy Japanese subjects.

MeSH terms

  • Arteriosclerosis / diagnostic imaging
  • Arteriosclerosis / pathology
  • Arteriosclerosis / physiopathology
  • Bone Density / physiology
  • Calcaneus / diagnostic imaging
  • Calcaneus / metabolism*
  • Carotid Artery, Common / diagnostic imaging
  • Carotid Artery, Common / metabolism
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Exercise / physiology
  • Female
  • Femoral Artery / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / diagnostic imaging
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life
  • Regression Analysis
  • Sex Factors
  • Tunica Intima / pathology*
  • Ultrasonography