Large-scale research finds a link between osteoporosis and the risk of dementia

New research has found a positive association between the bone condition osteoporosis and the risk of dementia. (AFP Relaxnews pic)

Carried out by researchers at IQVIA and Nordwest Hospital, Germany and the University of Paris, France, the new study set out to look at the association between osteoporosis and the risk of developing dementia in a large European population, as most recent studies have been conducted outside of Europe.

The researchers gathered data from 29,983 patients diagnosed with osteoporosis and 29,983 control participants without the condition but who were matched based on factors such as age and gender.

After following the participants for up to 20 years, the researchers found that 20.5% of women with osteoporosis and 16.4% of the control participants had been diagnosed with dementia.

For men, 22% of those osteoporosis went on to develop dementia compared to 14.9% of the controls.

The researchers concluded that there was a positive association between osteoporosis and dementia, with the condition associated with a 1.2-fold increase in the risk of being diagnosed with dementia in women and a 1.3-fold increase in the risk of being diagnosed with dementia in men.

“There is big interest in the relationship between osteoporosis and dementia,” explained lead investigator Prof. Karel Kostev, Dr. MS, “This study is the first to address this question in a very large database enabling the case-control-comparison between patients with and without osteoporosis.”

“The major hypothesis to explain the association between osteoporosis and dementia is that these two conditions have similar risk factors noted co-author Louis Jacob, MD. “These factors include APOE4 allele of the apolipoprotein E, a major cholesterol carrier, lower vitamin K levels, vitamin D deficiency, but also androgens and estrogens.”

The findings can be found published online in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.