Background: Osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease are major public health problems. A number of clinical studies have shown a link between osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease, but there is no information on the associations of risk of osteoporotic fracture with vascular function and vascular structure.Methods and Results:The risk of major osteoporotic fracture was calculated using the World Health Organization fracture risk assessment tool (FRAX); vascular function was assessed using flow-mediated vasodilation (FMD) and nitroglycerine-induced vasodilation (NID), and vascular structure was assessed on brachial artery intima-media thickness (IMT) in 414 subjects (241 men and 173 women) who underwent health examinations. On univariate regression, FRAX was negatively correlated with FMD (total, r=-0.16, P<0.001; men, r=-0.19, P=0.003; women, r=-0.25, P<0.001) and NID (total, r=-0.22, P<0.001; men, r=-0.19, P=0.003; women, r=-0.30, P<0.001) and was positively correlated with brachial artery IMT (total, r=0.12, P=0.02; men, r=0.22, P<0.001; women, r=0.33, P<0.001). On multivariate analysis FRAX remained an independent predictor of FMD, NID, and brachial artery IMT in both men and women.
Conclusions: Increase in the risk of osteoporotic fracture evaluated on FRAX is associated with vascular dysfunction and abnormal vascular structure in both men and women. Osteoporosis should be monitored in order to reduce the risk of cardiovascular events.
Keywords: Atherosclerosis; Brachial artery intima-media thickness; Risk of osteoporotic fracture; Vascular function.