Osteoporosis Linked to Cardiovascular, Cerebrovascular Diseases

May 24, 2019

A study has identified links between osteoporosis and hypertension, coronary heart disease, and cerebral infarction.

Highlighting close correlations between senile osteoporosis and hypertension, coronary heart disease, and cerebral infarction, a study has determined that osteoporosis can be used as a predictor of early screening for the conditions among older adults.

Between June 2014 and January 2017, researchers analyzed 600 elderly patients ranging from 60 to 81 years who were hospitalized in Harrison International Peace Hospital in Hengshui, China, and found that hypertension, coronary heart disease, and cerebral infarction are main risk factors for osteoporosis among the population compared with other factors, such as body mass index, blood glucose, and cholesterol.

There were 207 identified cases of coronary heart disease, 102 cases of hypertension, and 119 cases of cerebral infarction, and analyses showed that the severity of the diseases impacted the prevalence of osteoporosis.

Looking at various severity of coronary heart disease, the researchers found that incidence of osteoporosis was significantly higher among patients with 3-vessel disease than among patients with double-vessel disease, who had a significantly higher prevalence of osteoporosis compared with those with single-vessel disease.

“Osteoporosis patients have decreased conversion rate of osteoclasts to osteoblasts, which in turn lead to increased osteolysis and increased calcium ion concentration in blood circulation,” wrote the researchers. “High levels of calcium ions in the blood circulation deposit on the intima of the inner wall of the arterial vessel. Over time, atherosclerosis and calcification of the vessel wall including the coronary artery may occur, eventually leading to coronary heart disease.”

Similarly, osteoporosis prevalence was highest in those with severe hypertension, followed by moderate hypertension and mild hypertension. While the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system plays an integral role in the regulation of blood pressure in the human body, some scholars believe that the system also plays a role in bone tissue, according to the researchers.

“Moreover, renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system is also present in bone tissue to regulate the production and absorption of bone cells, and angiotensin I and angiotensin II can also regulate the production and absorption of osteoclasts,” they wrote.

The same pattern was seen with disease severity of cerebral infarction: Severe disease was associated with the highest incidence of osteoporosis, followed by moderate and mild osteoporosis. As a result of increased osteolysis in patients with osteoporosis, there is an increase in calcium levels in blood circulation, and high levels of calcium ions deposit on the intima of the inner wall of cerebral blood vessels, causing cerebral vascular atherosclerosis and calcification, which ultimately leads to reduced blood supply to the brain.

Reference

Hu X, Ma S, Yang C, Wang W, Chen L. Relationship between senile osteoporosis and cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases. Exp Ther Med. 2019;17(6):4417-4420. doi: 10.3892/etm.2019.7518.