Association between atherosclerosis and osteoporosis, the role of vitamin D

Archives of Medical Science, 05/31/2011

The latest data support the correlation of atherosclerosis and osteoporosis, indicating the parallel progression of two tissue destruction processes with increased fatal and non–fatal coronary events, as well as higher fracture risk.

  • Vitamin D inadequacy associated with low bone mineral density increases fall and fracture risk, leads to secondary hyperparathyroidism, calcifies coronary arteries and significantly increases cardiovascular disease.
  • Randomized clinical trial evidence related to extraskeletal vitamin D outcomes was limited and generally uninformative.
  • A recent recommendation on vitamin D dietary requirements for bone health is 600 IU/d for ages 1–70 years and 800 IU/d for 71 years and older, corresponding to a serum 25–hydroxyvitamin D level of at least 20 ng/ml (50 nmol/l)
  • Further large randomized controlled trials are needed to reassess laboratory ranges for 25–hydroxyvitamin D in both diseases, in order to avoid under– and over–treatment problems, and completely clarify the relationship between atherosclerosis and osteoporosis.

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