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23-09-2010 | Bone health | Article

Low BMD not linked to coronary atherosclerosis in men


Free abstract

MedWire News: Men undergoing coronary angiography have a high prevalence of low bone mineral density (BMD), yet there is no association between bone mass and rates of angiographically determined coronary atherosclerosis, research shows.

Even though male gender is an important risk factor for coronary artery disease (CAD), and low BMD in men is associated with increased mortality from cardiovascular disease, there are no data available on the association between BMD and angiographically characterized coronary atherosclerosis in men, say Heinz Drexel (Vorarlberg Institute for Vascular Investigation and Treatment, Feldkirch, Austria), and colleagues.

Drexel and team therefore investigated this association in 623 men undergoing coronary angiography for the evaluation of established or suspected CAD.

According to dual X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scans, 351 patients (56.3%) had a normal BMD, 207 (33.2%) had osteopenia, and 65 (10.4%) had osteoporosis.

At angiography, CAD was diagnosed in 558 (89.6%) patients, while 403 (64.7%) had significant coronary stenoses, defined as stenoses with lumen narrowing by 50% or more.

The researchers report that prevalence of CAD did not differ significantly between patients with normal bone density, osteopenia, or osteoporosis, at 90.0%, 87.9%, and 92.3%, respectively.

Similarly, there were no significant differences in the prevalence of significant coronary stenoses among men with normal bone density, osteopenia, or osteoporosis, at 66.7%, 61.8%, and 63.1%, respectively.

"In conclusion, "osteopenia and osteoporosis are not associated with angiographically determined coronary atherosclerosis in men," write Drexel and co-authors in the journal Osteoporosis International.

"Nevertheless, because BMD is pathologically low in over 40% of these patients, DXA screening appears necessary in coronary angiographied men, in order to timely diagnose and treat osteopenia and osteoporosis in this clinically important patient population," they add.

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2010

By Laura Dean

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