Lower bone mineral density is associated with higher coronary calcification and coronary plaque burdens by multidetector row coronary computed tomography in pre- and postmenopausal women

Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2009 Nov;71(5):644-51. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2265.2009.03535.x. Epub 2009 Feb 18.


Objectives: There is growing evidence for the association between bone mineral density (BMD) and vascular calcification, which is related to cardiovascular disease. Coronary multidetector row computed tomography (MDCT) is a noninvasive tool developed to evaluate coronary status precisely. We used MDCT to evaluate this association.

Design and patients: Eight hundred and fifteen subjects received routine checkups. After excluding subjects with factors affecting bone metabolism and cardiovascular disease, 467 subjects were analysed.

Measurements: Coronary calcification was measured with MDCT and BMD was measured with dual X-ray absorptiometry (DXA).

Results: The BMD of the femur and the lumbar spine (L-spine) were negatively associated with the coronary calcium score (CCS) after adjusting for age in women but not in men. This inverse correlation was stronger in women with a longer time since menopause (r = -0.35 at femur, postmenopausal women vs. r = -0.10 at femur, premenopausal women, P < 0.05), and it was stronger at the femur than in the L-spine (r = -0.35 at femur vs. r = -0.16 at L-spine, P < 0.01). The relationship was also stronger in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis and osteopaenia than in women with normal BMD. The lower BMD was associated with higher coronary plaque burdens and multidiseased coronary vessels in both men and women (P < 0.01).

Conclusions: Increased CCS and subclinical atherosclerosis of plaque burdens as revealed by MDCT was associated with a low BMD in all women, independent of cardiovascular risk factors and age.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bone Density / physiology*
  • Coronary Angiography
  • Coronary Artery Disease / physiopathology*
  • Coronary Vessels / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postmenopause / metabolism*
  • Premenopause / metabolism*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed