Heart Disease and Osteoporosis Have Common Link!

Pam Flores @phflores Health Guide
  • February is National Heart Awareness Month, so we'd like to tell you about the connection between heart disease and bone loss.


    If you have heart disease you've probably had many chest x-rays to monitor your heart, and sometimes during these tests compression fractures of the spine are found.


    New studies show that there is a correlation between these two diseases, so it's a good idea to have a DXA scan if you or a loved one has heart disorders.  There seems to be many comorbid conditions with osteoporosis, so this isn't much of a surprise.


    What Should You Do?


    If you've had chest x-rays and a fracture is seen, ask your doctor to order a DXA scan, if you haven't had one recently.

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    Once you've sustained a fracture that usually means your bone loss is substantial, so it's very important to look into this further.


    Many fractures go undiagnosed, either because there's no pain, or little, so it's good to know that chest x-rays can help to diagnose a fracture.


    Once the fracture has occurred many other problems can occur, like lung compression, abdominal protrusion and loss of height.  Not all fractures cause loss of height, but they certainly can which can lead to a dowagers hump, also know as c-curve of the spine where the thoracic/cervical spine round forward.  Since this type of curving can cause posture balance and falling problems, please look into bone loss with heart disease as soon as possible.


    What the Study Showed

    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.


    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. [1]


    What's the Link?


    According to a study done several years ago, researches said that Both diseases share etiological factors as hyperlipidemia, hypertension, diabetes, oxidative stress, inflammation, hyperhomocysteinemia. Statins, hypolipidemic drugs, not only reduce atherogenesis but also stimulate bone formation. Bisphosphonates, drugs used in osteoporosis treatment, have been shown to influence serum cholesterol levels and inhibit atherosclerotic plaque formation. [2]


    We are aware of the connection between stress, inflammation, and hypertension, so if you have these disorders you are at greater risk for both heart disease and bone loss.  Since we get screened for the above disorders, with x-rays, blood tests and heart/artery studies, it's good to watch for undiagnosed fractures as well that show up on chest x-ray screening.

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    If you find you have a fracture along with heart disease please have it treated, whether that means conservative treatment of rest and physical therapy once you've recovered sufficiently, or surgical intervention which can be explained by your doctor.  The two procedures used for stabilizing vertebral fractures are kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty.  Kyphoplasty has to be completed on a new fracture before bone callous forms.


    Good luck if you have these two problems and please don't wait to take further action; your life and health depend on speedy medical intervention.






    • Heart Failure, Osteoporosis Go Hand in Hand, HealthDay February 7, 2012



    • Coronary Heart Disease and Osteoporosis: Factors Related To Development Of Both Diseases, Pracownia Metaboliczna, Nowicka G, Panczenko-Kresowska B.Zaklad Profilaktyki Chorób Zywieniowozaleznych, Instytut Zywności i Zywienia, Warszawa.  2006



Published On: February 14, 2012