Bone Hormone Levels May Signal Coronary Artery Disease in People with Lupus
Researchers found that in people with lupus, levels of parathormone (the hormone which supports the release of calcium for bone absorption), may serve as a potential marker for atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a condition where fat and other molecules attach and build up along the walls of heart arteries and form plaque, making the blood vessels narrower and restricting blood flow, potentially leading to chest pain and heart attack risk.
The bone mineral density, serum and hormone levels in a group of 138 people with lupus, atherosclerosis and osteoporosis were studied. Abnormal levels of parathormone (PTH) was discovered in those with lupus – 51.1% had plaque formation and/or 54% had arterial wall thickening. Hyperparathyroidism (a condition causing excessive calcium levels in the blood) was also associated with plaque formation (25%) and arterial wall thickening (27%). Other conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, age and menopausal status also contributed to increased PTH levels.
Heart disease is a major complication of lupus and a leading cause of death among people with the disease. This study suggests a possible link between bone health and the formation of fatty plaque in the arteries and supports the need for adequate vitamin D supplementation in people with lupus. Learn about how lupus affects the heart and circulation.