Small Vessel Disease/White Matter Disease of the Brain and Its Association With Osteoporosis

Kannayiram Alagiakrishnan, Jenny Hsueh, Edwin Zhang, Khurshid Khan, Ambikaipakan Senthilselvan


Background: Evidence now suggests the role of neural effect on bone mass control. The effect of small vessel disease of the brain on osteoporosis has not been studied. The aim of this study was to investigate the association of white matter disease (WMD) of the brain with osteoporosis in the elderly.

Methods: In this retrospective cross-sectional study, 780 consecutive patient charts between 2010 and 2011 were reviewed in the Senior’s Outpatient Clinic at the University of Alberta Hospital. Subjects with brain computerized tomography (CT) were included in the study. Subjects with incomplete information, intracranial hemorrhage, acute stroke, cerebral edema, and/or normal pressure hydrocephalus on the CT were excluded. WMD was quantified on CT using Wahlund’s scoring protocol. Osteoporosis information was obtained from the chart, which has been diagnosed based on bone mineral density (BMD) information. Logistic regression analysis was done to determine the association of WMD severity with osteoporosis after controlling for confounding vascular risk factors.

Results: Of the 505 subjects who were included in the study, 188 (37%) had osteoporosis and 171 (91%) of these osteoporotic subjects were females. The mean age was 79.8 ± 7.04 years. The prevalence of WMD in osteoporosis subjects was 73%. In the unadjusted logistic regression analysis, there was a significant association between WMD severity and osteoporosis (odds ratio (OR): 1.10; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.05 - 1.14; P < 0.001) and the significance remained in the adjusted model, after correcting for age, sex and all vascular risk factors (OR: 1.11; 95% CI: 1.05 - 1.18; P < 0.001).

Conclusion: WMD severity of the brain was associated with osteoporosis in the elderly.

J Clin Med Res. 2015;7(5):297-302


White matter disease severity; Small vessel cerebral disease; Bone remodeling; Osteoporosis; Vascular risk factors

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