Does Osteoporosis lead to Heart Disease?

by Priya Nath Mehta
(Mussoorie, India)

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?

Yours,
Priya

Comments for Does Osteoporosis lead to Heart Disease?

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Very Sorry
by: Kerri Knox, RN- The Immune Queen!

Hi Priya,

So sorry about your sister. What a shame. But as far as I know, there is no correlation between osteoporosis and heart disease.

Since your sister had an Elevated Calcium, it's possible that her osteoporosis was due to hyper parathyroidism. You can read more about that at Parathyroid.com.

Obviously there is no way to know this for sure, but it certainly sounds like a possibility. While theoretically long term high calcium levels in the blood could cause calcium to be deposited in the organs and tissues, I just don't know if that is true for heart disease or not.

While heart disease is complex, there is a program called The Great Cholesterol Cure that teaches you how to lower your cholesterol without drugs- or maybe that you don't actually need to lower your cholesterol at all!

Maybe that won't help you to understand your sister's unfortunate heart attack, but it may help you to understand why much of what we are told about heart disease is completely wrong...


In sympathy,

Kerri Knox, RN

thanks
by: Anonymous

Dear Kerri,

Thank you for your reply on my sister's death and also your sympathies. Thank you also for the link to the Heart Disease article which I am going to visit.

Thank you for always being there for us with your precious advice and help and encouragement!
I am glad I am a member here.

Yours,
Priya

Cardiac Syndrome X
by: A Biomedical researcher

Your sister may have had a Asymtomatic Microvascular Ischemia (Cardiac Syndrome X) which is more prevalent in postmenopausal women because of estrogen deficiency. This might have led to the massive heart attack. Conventional angiograms may not be able to detect this at an early stage and treatment may not be the same as conventional 'men Ischemia'.

Heart. 2006 May;92 Suppl 3:iii5-9.
Cardiac syndrome X in women: the role of oestrogen deficiency.
Kaski JC.

Cardiovascular Research Centre, Division of Cardiac and Vascular Sciences, St George's Hospital Medical School, University of London, London SW17 0RE, United Kingdom. jkaski@sghms.ac.uk

Cardiac syndrome X (CSX), defined as typical exertional chest pain, a positive response to stress testing, and normal coronary arteriograms, encompasses different pathogenic subgroups. Both cardiac and non-cardiac mechanisms have been suggested to play a pathogenic role, and it has been shown that the syndrome is associated with myocardial ischaemia in at least a proportion of patients. Radionuclide myocardial perfusion defects, coronary sinus oxygen saturation abnormalities and pH changes, myocardial lactate production and stress-induced alterations of cardiac high energy phosphate have been reported in CSX patients, suggesting an ischaemic origin for their symptoms. Microvascular abnormalities often caused by endothelial dysfunction appear to be responsible for myocardial ischaemia in these patients. CSX is more prevalent in women than in men, and the majority of women with CSX are peri- or post-menopausal. Thus oestrogen deficiency has been suggested to have a pathogenic role in CSX. Additional factors such as abnormal pain perception may also contribute to the genesis of chest pain in patients with angina and normal coronary angiograms. The management of this syndrome is difficult because of the heterogeneity of pathogenic mechanisms and uncertainties as to its origin. This article discusses the problem of CSX in women, the potential pathogenic role of oestrogen deficiency, and practical clinical management.

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