Essentially, this study found that patients who form calcium kidney stones are more likely to have higher abdominal aortic calcification (AAC) and lower vertebral bone mineral density (BMD) scores than those who do not develop kidney stones.
The researchers found that the prevalence of AAC was similar in patients who formed kidney stones (38%) compared with in non-stone forming control patients (35%). However, 68%, of kidney stone formers (KSFs) had moderate to severe AAC scores compared with only 26% of non-stone forming controls. The average BMD was also significantly lower in patients with a history of kidney stones compared with those who did not.
"[M]ultivariate analyses adjusted for all potential confounders confirmed that kidney stone disease is independently associated with advanced forms of [vascular calcification] compared with non-KSF" the study's authors said.
"Our study demonstrates that patients with calcium kidney stones suffer from significantly higher degrees of aortic calcification than age- and sex-matched non-stone formers," they wrote, "suggesting that [vascular calcification] may be an underlying mechanism explaining reported associations between nephrolithiasis and [cardiovascular disease]."
Again, I can't help but think this connection is so obvious that it slaps me in the face. Yeah, right in the face. As I mentioned in my previous post, nephrocalcin (found in the kidneys), osteocalcin (in the bones), and MGP (in the arteries) are all vitamin K-dependent proteins. As long as you get enough vitamin K2 (and most people don't actually get enough), these proteins will be activated and you can ensure the calcium goes into the right places (the bones, and not arteries or kidney stones).
Unfortunately, many researchers are very narrowly focused and can't make those connections... so they continue to look for a mechanism and will spend millions of dollars and years of their life answering the question of "why" this link exists.
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Source: Vascular Calcification and Bone Mineral Density in Recurrent Kidney Stone Formers
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