Does Osteoporosis lead to Heart Disease?
by Priya Nath Mehta
My sister who was 72 years old died mysteriously from a massive and extensive heart attack that destroyed most of her heart muscle as seen in leads V1 to V6 with T wave elevations of the ECG.
She was most active and never sat down all her life. She was moving in the sunshine also and maybe getting enough Vit D? However she was diagnosed with osteoporosis on the Dexa Scan.
Her cholesterol levels were perfectly normal. As a matter of fact she was the healthiest person in the house at this age.
She did have high calcium levels of about 11.0 or so in the blood that went undetected perhaps for years. This was despite the fact that she was taking no calcium supplements and barely took one glass of milk in a day.
Could her osteoporosis have caused the bones to shred off calcium and to deposit it in the blood stream and to cause calcium plaque to develop in the coronary arteries?
How else would one explain her massive heart attack? She was leading a carefree life with no stress.
One night she had a severe attack of migraine and uncontrolled vomiting and thereafter faintness and a falling BP. She was rushed to a hospital where they gave her IV fluids to bring up her blood pressure. There they discovered the massive heart attack on the ECG.
They gave her aspirin and clopidogrel and heparin and beta blockers and sorbitrate -- and she seemed to get well for a few hours, but then collapsed while walking to the bathroom that very day.
Is calcium plaque lethal to the heart, more so than cholesterol? Are women with osteoporosis at greater risk of heart attacks?