Heart Failure, Osteoporosis Go 'Hand-in-Hand': Researchers

Cardiac condition raises the risks of falls and may contribute to bone-density loss

Heart Failure, Osteoporosis Go 'Hand-in-Hand': Researchers

TUESDAY, Feb. 7, 2012 (HealthDay News) -- Heart failure is linked to thinning of the bones and an increased risk of fractures, a new study indicates.

The findings suggest that aggressive screening for osteoporosis may be important for heart failure patients, the researchers said.

They looked at data from about 45,500 adults who underwent bone mineral density testing for the first time and were followed for up to 10 years. Of those people, 1,841 had recent-onset heart failure.

After the researchers adjusted for traditional osteoporosis risk factors, they concluded that heart failure was associated with a 30 percent increased risk of major fractures.

The study will be published in the April issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

"Our study demonstrates for the first time that heart failure and thinning of bones go hand in hand," study author Dr. Sumit Majumdar, of the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, said in a journal news release. "Understanding the mechanism between heart failure and osteoporosis might lead to new treatments for both conditions."

He suggested that osteoporosis screening should include examining chest X-rays of patients with heart failure.

"Heart failure patients get a lot of X-rays and they often incidentally show many fractures of the spine that would automatically provide an indication of severe osteoporosis and need for treatment," Majumdar said.

More information

The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has more about heart failure.

SOURCE: Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, news release, Feb. 2, 2012
Consumer News