Among people checked out because of chest pain, the likelihood that the pain is due to obstructed coronary arteries is greater for those with low bone mineral density (BMD) than those with normal BMD, researcher report.
Dr Wilbert S. Aronow and colleagues from New York Medical College, Valhalla, studied data on 198 patients who had bone scans within six months of having their coronary arteries checked for blockages.
Of the 198 subjects, 53 had the brittle bone disease osteoporosis, 79 had a less severe condition called osteopenia, and 66 had normal BMD.
Overall, 40 patients (76 percent) with osteoporosis, 54 (68 percent) with osteopenia, and 31 (47 percent) with normal BMD had obstructive coronary artery disease, the researchers report in the American Journal of Cardiology.
They say the reason for this association is unclear. However, they observed that more patients with normal BMD than those with osteoporosis or osteopenia were taking a statin drug.
"On the basis of the available data, patients with osteoporosis or osteopenia should have intensive treatment of modifiable risk factors for coronary artery disease," Aronow and his colleagues conclude. "This therapy should include strong consideration of the use of statins." – (Reuters Health, May 2008)