The link between osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) and osteoporosis are common age-related conditions associated with significant morbidity, mortality, and disability.Traditionally, these two conditions were considered unrelated and their coexistence was attributed to independent age-related processes. However, an increasing body of biological and epidemiological evidence has provided support for a link between the two conditions that cannot be explained by age alone. Several hypotheses have been proposed to explain the link between osteoporosis and CVD including: 1) shared risk factors, 2) common pathophysiological mechanisms, 3) common genetic factors, or 4) a causal association. This review highlights the epidemiologic literature on the association of bone density with cardiovascular mortality, cardiovascular morbidity, and subclinical measures of atherosclerosis. It also summarizes the different potential mechanisms involved in the link between osteoporosis and CVD.