Several evidences have shown in the last years a possible correlation between cardiovascular diseases and osteoporosis. Patients affected with osteoporosis, for example, have a higher risk of cardiovascular diseases than subjects with normal bone mass. However, the heterogeneous approaches and the different populations that have been studied so far have limited the strength of the findings. Studies conducted in animal models show that vascular calcification is a very complex mechanism that involves similar pathways described in the normal bone calcification. Proteins like BMP, osteopontin, osteoprotegerin play an important role at the bone level but are also highly expressed in the calcified vascular tissue. In particular, it seems that the OPG protect from vascular calcification and elevated levels have been found in patients with CVD. Other factors like oxidative stress, inflammation, free radicals, lipids metabolism are involved in this complex scenario. It is not a case that medications used for treating osteoporosis also inhibit the atherosclerotic process, acting on blood pressure and ventricular hypertrophy. Given the limited amount of available data, further studies are needed to elucidate the underlying mechanisms between osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease which may be important in the future also for preventive and therapeutic approaches of both conditions.
- Cardiovascular disease
- Vascular calcification
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Internal Medicine