Association between Serum Cholesterol Level and Bone Mineral Density at Lumbar Spine and Femur Neck in Postmenopausal Korean Women

Korean J Fam Med. 2012 May;33(3):166-73. doi: 10.4082/kjfm.2012.33.3.166. Epub 2012 May 24.


Background: Blood lipid profiles have been suggested to be a risk factor for osteoporosis. However, the association between lipid profiles and bone mineral density (BMD) is still unclear. This study aimed to evaluate an association between blood lipid profiles and BMD through both a cross-sectional and a longitudinal study.

Methods: Study subjects were 958 postmenopausal Korean women who have repeatedly undertaken laboratory tests and BMD measurements at lumbar spine and femur neck with an interval of 7.1 years. The associations between lipid profiles and BMD were examined using Spearman correlation analysis with an adjustment for age, smoking, alcohol drinking, physical activity, body mass index, and follow-up duration.

Results: Lumbar spine BMD was not associated with total cholesterol (TC), low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), and high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HLD-C) regardless of when the measurement was performed. In an analysis using data measured at the beginning of the study, femur neck BMD was not associated with TC and LDL-C. However, femur neck BMD showed weak but significantly positive correlation with HDL-C (correlation coefficient, 0.077; 95% confidence interval, 0.005 to 0.149). When the analysis was repeated with data measured at the end of the follow-up, there was no significant correlation between femur neck BMD and any lipid profile. In addition, change in femur neck BMD during follow-up was not associated with the change in lipid profiles.

Conclusion: Although further study with a consideration of calcium intake and osteoporosis medication seems necessary, this study found no association between serum lipid profiles and BMD in postmenopausal Korean women.

Keywords: Bone Density; Cholesterol, HDL; Cholesterol, LDL; Osteoporosis.