Abdominal aortic calcification, BMD, and bone microstructure: A population-based study

John T. Chow, Sundeep Khosla, L. Joseph Melton, Elizabeth J. Atkinson, Jon J. Camp, Ann E. Kearns

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


To better define the relationship between vascular calcification and bone mass/structure, we assessed abdominal aortic calcification (AAC), BMD, and bone microstructure in an age-stratified, random sample of 693 Rochester, MN, residents. Participants underwent QCT of the spine and hip and high-resolution pQCT (HRpQCT) of the radius to define volumetric BMD (vBMD) and microstructural parameters. AAC was quantified with the Agatston scoring method. In men, AAC correlated with lower vertebral trabecular and femoral neck vBMD (p < 0.001), but not after age or multivariable (age, body mass index, smoking status) adjustment. Separation into <50 and ≥50 yr showed this pattern only in the older men. BV/TV and Tb.Th inversely correlated with AAC in all men (p < 0.001), and Tb.Th remained significantly correlated after age adjustment (p < 0.05). Tb.N positively correlated with AAC in younger men (p < 0.001) but negatively correlated in older men (p < 0.001). The opposite was true with Tb.Sp (p = 0.01 and p < 0.001, respectively). Lower Tb.N and higher Tb.Sp correlated with AAC in older men even after multivariable adjustment. Among all women and postmenopausal women, AAC correlated with lower vertebral and femoral neck vBMD (p < 0.001) but not after adjustment. Lower BV/TV and Tb.Th correlated with AAC (p = 0.03 and p = 0.04, respectively) in women, but not after adjustment. Our findings support an age-dependent association between AAC and vBMD. We also found that AAC correlates with specific bone microstructural parameters in older men, suggesting a possible common pathogenesis for vascular calcification and deterioration in bone structure. However, sex-specific differences exist.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1601-1612
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Bone and Mineral Research
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2008


  • Association
  • Bone QCT
  • Bone composition
  • Osteoporosis
  • Population studies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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