PloS one

The association between aortic calcification and fracture risk in postmenopausal women in China: the prospective Chongqing osteoporosis study.

PMID 24817329


Fractures are associated with cardiovascular diseases in the elderly. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the association between aortic calcification (AC) and the risk of vertebral fractures in postmenopausal Chinese women. A prospective study with 5 years of follow-up in 1724 postmenopausal women (aged 50 years old and older) was conducted from July 2005 to June 2010. Dual energy X-ray absorptiometry was utilized to evaluate bone mineral density (BMD). Aortic calcification score (ACS) was determined by a semi-quantitative method and was further categorized into four groups. Cox proportional hazards models were established to assess the association between AC and the risk of vertebral fractures. For subjects with AC, the incidence of vertebral fractures was higher than that of those without AC (p<0.01). After adjustment for age and other potential confounders, it was found that severe AC (G4, ACS>6; G3, ACS = 3-6) was associated with vertebral fractures. Severe AC (G4) was associated with non-vertebral fractures. There were higher risk for the vertebral fractures in two groups and higher risk for non-vertebral fractures in one group. The results of the current study indicate that severe AC is associated with a significantly increased risk of vertebral fractures and non-vertebral fractures in postmenopausal women in China.