A team led by Dr. Douglas Kiel of Hebrew SeniorLife's Institute for Aging Research in Boston analyzed the bone density scans of more than 1,000 older Australian women for the presence of calcium deposits in the aorta. They graded the severity of these calcium deposits using bone density scans, and then followed the women for almost 15 years to determine the occurrence of cardiovascular disease within the cohort.
Kiel and colleagues found that the presence of calcifications increased the likelihood of having cardiovascular disease, such as a heart attack, and even the likelihood of cardiovascular death and mortality in general.
"Our study highlights the fact that having a bone density test not only tells women about their risk of fracture, but also their long-term risk for cardiovascular disease," Kiel said in a statement released by the institute. "This makes bone density testing even more useful in screening."
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