Association of coronary artery and aortic calcium with lumbar bone density: The MESA abdominal aortic calcium study

Joseph A. Hyder, Matthew A. Allison, Nathan Wong, Agnes Papa, Thomas F. Lang, Claude Sirlin, Susan M. Gapstur, Pamela Ouyang, J. Jeffrey Carr, Michael H. Criqui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

125 Scopus citations


Atherosclerosis and osteoporosis share many risk factors, but their independent association is unclear. The authors investigated the independent associations between volumetric trabecular bone mineral density (vBMD) of the lumbar spine and coronary artery calcium (CAC) and abdominal aortic calcium (AAC). During 2002-2005, they used quantitative computed tomography to assess vBMD and the presence and extent of CAC and AAC among 946 women (mean age = 65.5 years) and 963 men (mean age = 64.1 years) in a substudy of the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. Prevalences of CAC were 47% and 68% in women and men, respectively, and AAC prevalences were 70% and 73%. Sequential, sex-specific regression models included adjustment for age, ethnicity, body mass index, hypertension, dyslipidemia, diabetes mellitus, smoking, alcohol consumption, physical activity, interleukin-6, C-reactive protein, homocysteine, and sex hormones. After full adjustment, lower vBMD was associated with greater CAC score among women (P < 0.002) and greater AAC score among women (P = 0.004) and men (P < 0.001). After adjustment, vBMD quartile was inversely associated with CAC prevalence (P-trend = 0.05) in women and AAC prevalence (P-trend < 0.01) in men. Partially and fully adjusted models showed similar results. Though modest, these significant, independent associations suggest that atherosclerosis and bone loss may be related.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)186-194
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican journal of epidemiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Aging
  • Arteries
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Bone and bones
  • Bone density
  • Calcium
  • Coronary vessels
  • Ethnic groups

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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