School of Medical and Health Sciences / Institute for Nutrition Research
Summary: Osteoporosis has been linked with increased risk of cardiovascular disease previously. However, few studies have detailed bone and vascular information. In a prospective study of older women, we demonstrated heel quantitative ultrasound measures were associated with increased cardiovascular and all-cause mortality, independent of established cardiovascular risk factors. Introduction: Osteoporosis and low bone mineral density (BMD) have been previously linked to cardiovascular disease (CVD) and mortality. Calcaneal quantitative ultrasound (QUS) is used to evaluate bone material properties, especially in older women. However, it is uncertain whether it is related to risk of mortality. This study was aimed to investigate the association between calcaneal QUS measurements and 15-year all-cause and CVD mortality in 1404 older women (mean age 75.2 ± 2.7 years). Methods: One thousand four hundred four older women, participants of Calcium Intake Fracture Outcome study (CAIFOS), had calcaneal bone measured at baseline (1998) and followed for 15 years. The primary outcomes, any deaths, and deaths attributable to cardiovascular causes ascertained by using linked data were obtained from Western Australia data linkage system. Results Over the 15 years of follow-up (17,955 person years), 584 of the women died, and 223 from CVD. For every standard deviation (SD), reduction in broadband ultrasound attenuation (BUA) in minimally and multivariable-adjusted model including cardiovascular risk factors increased relative hazards for all-cause (multivariable-adjusted HR 1.15; 95%CI: 1.06–1.26, p = 0.001) and CVD mortality (multivariable-adjusted HR 1.20; 95%CI: 1.04–1.38, p = 0.010). Such relationships also persisted when hip BMD was included in the model (all-cause mortality HR 1.19; 95%CI: 1.07–1.33, p = 0.002; CVD mortality HR 1.28; 95%CI: 1.07–1.53, p = 0.008). Conclusion: BUA is associated with all-cause and CVD mortality in older women independent of BMD and established CVD risk factors. Understanding why and how these are related may provide further insights about the bone-vascular nexus as well as therapeutic targets benefiting both systems.
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