Marios Dimopoulos Clinical Nutritionist, Author, Fellow of the American Council of the Applied Clinical Nutrition

Κυριακή, 9 Φεβρουαρίου 2014

Bone loss linked to hardening arteries

Postmenopausal women have another good reason to do everything they can to help maintain healthy bone density – the failure to do so is now linked to an increase in plaque in the carotid artery1.  This relationship existed independent of a woman’s LDL cholesterol levels.  The researchers found that if a woman’s lumbar spine had lost bone density then plaque accumulation in arteries was consistent with the amount of bone loss.
This means that bone loss is now an independent risk factor for heart disease.  When estrogen levels drop at menopause bones take an “inflammatory hit.”  Consequent bone loss for the next five years depends on the extent of inflammatory damage, which depends on the underlying health of the individual.  Women who enter menopause in a fatigued, stressed, or worn down condition – especially if there are other health problems, are invariably at risk for the most bone loss during this time. 
Factors involved with bone inflammation are also cardiovascular stressful, leading to cardiovascular wear and tear.  This new study indicates that these processes directly contribute to hardening of the arteries and heart disease, regardless of how well other heart-related risk factors are managed.  It means that to be healthy after menopause a woman must have adequate bone nutrition, manage stress, stay fit, and nip any health problems in the bud.

 Byron J. Richards,
Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist

 Sumino H, Ichikawa S, Kasama S, Takahashi T, Sakamoto H, Kumakura H, Takayama Y, Kanda T, Murakami M, Kurabayashi M. Relationship between carotid atherosclerosis and lumbar spine bone mineral density in postmenopausal women. Hypertens Res.  2008 June  31(6):1191-7.
Department of Nursing, Faculty of Nursing, Takasaki University of Health and Welfare, Takasaki, Japan.

Study Abstract:

Osteoporosis and increased carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) have been associated with atherosclerosis. We investigated the correlation between carotid IMT and lumbar spine bone mineral density (BMD) in postmenopausal women. We studied the carotid IMT in 175 postmenopausal women, including 43 women (control) with normal spinal BMD, 73 women with osteopenia, and 59 women with osteoporosis. Carotid IMT was assessed by ultrasonography. BMD at the lumbar spine (lumbar 2 to 4 vertebrae) was measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Age, years since menopause, and carotid IMT were significantly greater in the osteoporosis group than in the control (all p<0.01) and osteopenia groups (all p<0.01). Estradiol was significantly lower in the osteoporosis group than in the control group (p<0.05). BMD was significantly lower in the osteoporosis group than in the osteopenia or control group (both p<0.01) and in the osteopenia group than in the control group (p<0.01). After adjusting for age, years since menopause, and estradiol, women with osteoporosis had significantly greater carotid IMT than controls (p<0.05). The univariate linear regression analysis revealed that carotid IMT was significantly positively correlated with age, years since menopause, and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (all p<0.05) and was significantly negatively correlated with estradiol and BMD (all p<0.05), but showed no significant association with other clinical variables. In multivariate regression analysis, the carotid IMT was significantly positively correlated with LDL cholesterol (p<0.01) and negatively correlated with BMD (p<0.01), but not with other variables. Carotid atherosclerosis might be associated with lumbar spine bone mass in postmenopausal women, suggesting that postmenopausal women with osteoporosis may have more advanced carotid atherosclerosis than those with a normal bone mass.

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