Article

Calcified Tissue International

, Volume 82, Issue 6, pp 411-417

First online:

Echogenic Carotid Artery Plaques are Associated with Vertebral Fractures in Postmenopausal Women with Low Bone Mass

  • Se Hwa KimAffiliated withDivision of Endocrinology, Department of Internal Medicine, Kwandong University College of Medicine, Myongji Hospital
  • , Yoo Mee KimAffiliated withDivision of Endocrinology, Department of Internal Medicine, National Health Insurance Corporation Ilsan Hospital
  • , Mi Ae ChoAffiliated withDivision of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, Yonsei University College of Medicine
  • , Yumie RheeAffiliated withDivision of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, Yonsei University College of MedicineInstitute of Endocrine Research, Yonsei University College of Medicine
  • , Kyu Yeon HurAffiliated withBrain Korea 21 Project for Medical Sciences, Yonsei University
  • , Eun Seok KangAffiliated withDivision of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, Yonsei University College of MedicineInstitute of Endocrine Research, Yonsei University College of MedicineBrain Korea 21 Project for Medical Sciences, Yonsei University
  • , Bong Soo ChaAffiliated withDivision of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, Yonsei University College of MedicineInstitute of Endocrine Research, Yonsei University College of MedicineBrain Korea 21 Project for Medical Sciences, Yonsei University
  • , Eun Jig LeeAffiliated withDivision of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, Yonsei University College of MedicineInstitute of Endocrine Research, Yonsei University College of MedicineBrain Korea 21 Project for Medical Sciences, Yonsei University
  • , Hyun Chul LeeAffiliated withDivision of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, Yonsei University College of MedicineInstitute of Endocrine Research, Yonsei University College of MedicineBrain Korea 21 Project for Medical Sciences, Yonsei University
    • , Sung Kil LimAffiliated withDivision of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, Yonsei University College of MedicineInstitute of Endocrine Research, Yonsei University College of MedicineBrain Korea 21 Project for Medical Sciences, Yonsei University Email author 

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Abstract

Although low bone mass has been associated with atherosclerosis even after adjustment for age, little is known about the association between vertebral fractures and calcified atherosclerotic plaques. Our objective was to investigate whether osteoporotic vertebral fractures are independently related to the prevalence of atherosclerotic carotid plaques in postmenopausal women with low bone mass. We enrolled 195 postmenopausal women with osteopenia or osteoporosis. Bone mineral density and the presence of vertebral fractures were assessed. Intima media thickness and atherosclerotic plaques of the carotid artery were assessed using ultrasonography. Of the 195 subjects in the study, 84 had no plaques and 111 had at least one. The percentage of women with vertebral fractures was significantly higher in subjects with echogenic carotid plaques than in those without (27% vs. 11%, respectively; P < 0.05). However, there was no difference in the prevalence of vertebral fractures between women with echolucent plaques and those without (10.9% vs. 10.7%, respectively; P = nonsignificant). By logistic regression analysis with multivariate adjustment, age (P < 0.01), dyslipidemia (P < 0.05), and the presence of vertebral fracture (P < 0.05) were independent risk factors for echogenic carotid plaques. Osteoporotic vertebral fractures are associated with an increased risk of echogenic atherosclerotic plaques in postmenopausal women with low bone mass. It appears that the high association of echogenic atherosclerotic plaques and vertebral fractures could partially explain why osteoporotic vertebral fractures are linked to increased mortality.

Keywords

Carotid atherosclerosis Echogenic plaque Vertebral fracture Bone mineral density Low bone mass