RATIONALE AND OBJECTIVES - Cardiac computer tomography (CT) image-based vertebral bone mineral density (BMD) assessment and the influence of cardiovascular disease risk factors on BMD have not been systematically evaluated, especially in a community-based, multiethnic population.
METHODS - A cross-sectional study design is used to determine if cardiac CT image is a reliable source to assess vertebral BMD, and a total of 2028 CT images were obtained from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis, a large, diverse US cohort of adults 45 to 84 years of age.
RESULTS - Cardiac CT image allows the rapid assessment of vertebral BMD and related fractures. The mean BMD was significantly higher in men compared with women for thoracic vertebrae (143.2 ± 41.2 vs 138.7 ± 42.7 mg/cm³, respectively, P = .014), as well as for lumbar vertebrae (125.0 ± 37.9 vs 117.2 ± 39.4 mg/cm³, respectively, P < .0001). Thoracic and lumbar BMDs are closely correlated (correlation coefficient 0.87, P < .001), independent of age and other confounders including sex and race. African American men had the highest thoracic BMD among all race/ethnicity and sex subgroups. Prevalence of fractures in total vertebrae is 4.2%. Lumbar had approximately 2 times higher prevalence of fracture than thoracic, and the prevalence of vertebral fractures is 1.5% and 3.1% for thoracic and lumbar vertebrae, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS - Using cardiac CT images to garner and assess vertebral BMD is a feasible and reliable method. Cardiac CT has the additional advantages of evaluate vertebral bone health while assessing cardiovascular disease risk with no extra cost or radiation exposure.
Copyright © 2013 AUR. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.