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Link Between Coronary Artery Calcification Score and Bone Mineral Density

by Aishwarya Nair on November 26, 2020 at 11:09 PM
Link Between Coronary Artery Calcification Score and  Bone Mineral Density

A new study suggests that coronary artery calcification score (CACS) is associated with trabecular and cortical volumetric bone mineral density (BMD).

The CACS is calculated from the coronary calcium scan (a specialized X ray that provides images of the heart). It helps your consultant measure calcium-containing plaque in the arteries.

CACS score of zero suggests no calcium seen in the heart, hence low chances of developing cardiac complications in the future. The higher the amount of calcium present, the higher will be the score and hence greater risk.


A score of 100-300 indicates moderate plaque deposits which may be associated with a high risk of suffering from a heart attack in the coming 3-5 years.

A score greater than 300 is a sign of very high to severe disease and heart attack risk. A percentile score indicates your amount of calcium compared to people of the same age and sex.

Trabecular or spongy bone is light, porous bone enclosing a large number of spaces. It has a honey comb like appearance. Trabecular bones are present at the end of almost all bones.

Bone mineral density uses X rays to measure the amount of minerals, namely calcium in the bones.

Trabecular volumetric BMD of the spine is inversely related to CACS. Studies stated that the relation between CACS and cortical volumetric bone density is yet not reported.

Dr Claes Ohlsson of the Sahlgrenska Academy at University of Gothenburg in Sweden compared the associations of CACS with cortical and trabecular volumetric BMD. The study consisted of 541 women and 519 men aged between 50 - 64 years.

This study showed that cortical BMD was independently directly related associated with a CACS score greater than 0. A high ratio of cortical to trabecular volumetric BMD was associated with an increased CACS score.

The researchers in JAMA Cardiology reported all the above associations were significant in women, but not in men. These findings proving opposite associations for trabecular and cortical volumetric BMD with CACS are suggestive of different role of trabecular and cortical BMD on the coronary artery calcification risk.

This risk should be majorly calculated for women. The study showed that women were at a greater risk of coronary artery calcification.

Source: Medindia
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