The Enigmatic Relationship of Bone Mineral Density and Cardiovascular Disease in Kidney Transplantation

JULS Volume 10, Issue 1

Shanna Gu1,2, Martha Ghebreselassie1,2, Olusegun Famure2,3, S. Joseph Kim3,4

1 Faculty of Arts and Science, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
2 Department of Multi-Organ Transplant, University Health Network, Toronto, Canada
3 Kidney Transplant Program, University Health Network, Toronto, Canada
4 Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada

Corresponding Author: Shanna Gu (


Currently, the main cause of transplant graft failure is chronic complications, among which cardiovascular disease (CVD) and low bone mineral density (BMD) are frequent culprits. Therefore, understanding CVD and BMD is critical to the improvement of overall graft survival. In order to properly ascertain this, five distinct literature searches were conducted in three databases, Ovid MEDLINE(R), Embase and Google Scholar. After reviewing current and relevant study articles, the relationship between CVD and BMD within kidney transplantation was determined to be inconclusive. Most of the studies neglected important potential confounders, presented contradicting results, and used small samples unrepresentative of the transplant recipient population. In addition, when some studies adjusted for risk factors of BMD and/or CVD, no significant relationship was produced. Lastly, rarely any study produced an association between low BMD and CVD; rather, most studies suggested that low BMD correlated to increased vascular calcification. This novel yet ambiguous area of research requires clarification which could be provided by a future retrospective study conducted at the Multi-Organ Transplant Student Research Training Program at Toronto General Hospital.