Genetic determinants of osteoporosis: common bases to cardiovascular diseases?
Osteoporosis is the most common and serious age-related skeletal disorder, characterized by a low bone mass and bone microarchitectural deterioration, with a consequent increase in bone fragility and susceptibility to spontaneous fractures, and it represents a major worldwide health care problem with important implications for health care costs, morbidity and mortality. Today is well accepted that osteoporosis is a multifactorial disorder caused by the interaction between environment and genes that singularly exert modest effects on bone mass and other aspects of bone strength and fracture risk. The individuation of genetic factors responsible for osteoporosis predisposition and development is fundamental for the disease prevention and for the setting of novel therapies, before fracture occurrence. In the last decades the interest of the Scientific Community has been concentrated in the understanding the genetic bases of this disease but with controversial and/or inconclusive results. This review tries to summarize data on the most representative osteoporosis candidate genes. Moreover, since recently osteoporosis and cardiovascular diseases have shown to share common physiopathological mechanisms, this review also provides information on the current understanding of osteoporosis and cardiovascular diseases common genetic bases.