The Concurrent Risks of Osteoporotic Fracture and Cardiovascular Disease
A recent study set out to use risk factor algorithms to understand the association between osteoporosis risk factors (like low bone mineral density) and cardiovascular endpoints.
The study was led by researchers at the Institute of Bone and Joint Research and the Kolling Institute of Medical Research at the University of Sydney in Australia. It is titled, “High osteoporotic fracture risk and CVD risk co-exist in postmenopausal women.” The study was published online ahead of print in September 2012 in the journal Bone. The study authors state that though previous work has examined the association between osteoporosis risk factors and cardiovascular outcomes, no studies have relied on risk factor algorithms.
The researchers relied on data from 258 peri- and postmenopausal women. The average age of the participants was 59.3 (age range 45-74). The women’s bone mineral density was measured using dual energy x-ray absorptiometry. Additionally, participants’ risk of fractures was determined using the World Health Organization FRAX algorithm. The Framingham Risk Tool was used to assess the women’s risk of cardiovascular disease.
The results of the study showed that women who had a higher 10-year risk of osteoporosis had a significantly higher risk of cardiovascular disease (4.634% vs. 8.36%, p = 0.001). Women’s 5-year cardiovascular disease risk was associated with their 10-year risk of suffering from a major osteoporotic fracture. The results showed that women who had the highest cardiovascular disease risk had a risk of major osteoporotic fracture that was 5.4 times as high as women with a lower risk of cardiovascular problems.
The researchers conclude that women’s risk of osteoporotic fractures (as determined by a multiple risk factor algorithm, such as FRAX) was positively associated with their risk of cardiovascular disease (as determined by the Framingham Risk Tool). They argue that their study findings highlight the need for appropriate interventions to address these concurrent risk factors.