Objective: Observational and experimental studies support that osteoporosis and atherosclerosis are two related phenomena. The aim of the present study was to investigate the probable effect of alendronate sodium, which is used in the treatment of osteoporosis, on carotid artery intima-media thickness (IMT), the lipid profile, and apolipoprotein A-I (ApoA-I) and apolipoprotein B (ApoB) levels, which are known to have a role in the atherosclerotic process.
Methods: Carotid artery IMT was measured in 39 women in whom alendronate 70 mg/week was started due to osteoporosis and in 33 control participants at the start and the 6th and 12th months of the study. Triglyceride, high-density lipoprotein, low-density lipoprotein, ApoA-I, and ApoB levels were also measured at the same time points, and ApoB/ApoA-I rates were calculated.
Results: Among the basal values, only the ApoA-I level was significantly lower in the alendronate group (P < 0.01). IMT measurement results (mean [SE]) of the alendronate group were 0.622 [0.015], 0.616 [0.014], and 0.597 [0.013] mm; those of the control group were 0.600 [0.010], 0.611 [0.011], and 0.620 [0.011] mm, respectively. In both groups, the difference between the start and 12-month values was significant (P < 0.05). A significant difference was not determined in the triglyceride and lipid measurement results between the groups and also within groups. ApoA and ApoB levels at the start and the 12th month of the study were as follows: 159.8 [3.6], 162.2 [3.4] (P > 0.05) and 96.2 [4.2], 101.5 [4.5] (P > 0.05) in the control group and 145.1 [4.0], 173.7 [4.3] (P < 0.05) and 98.7 [3.9], 84.6 [3.3] (P < 0.05) in the alendronate group, respectively. The ratios of ApoB/ApoA-I were 0.611 [0.029] is to 0.636 [0.031] (P > 0.05) in the control group and 0.703 [0.04] is to 0.498 [0.0] (P < 0.05) in the alendronate group.
Conclusions: We concluded that alendronate sodium resulted in a significant decrease in IMT during a 1-year period compared with matched controls. Also, alendronate was associated with a positive effect on the ApoB/ApoA-I ratio.