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Heart Failure May be Linked to Osteoporosis

Written by Julie Stoddard

Osteoporosis can cause bones to break, but new research suggests it is linked to heart failure.

The study, published in the journal Circulation: Heart Failure, found that up to 12 percent of people with heart failure may have osteoporosis as well as spine compression factors. In most cases, researchers found a simple chest X-ray could lead to treatment to prevent fractures.

Researchers studied 623 heart failure patients, about 12 percent of which had moderate to severe vertebral compression fractures. Of the people tested, 55 percent had multiple fractures. Only 15 percent of the heart failure patients with spine fractures were being treated for osteoporosis, despite the well-known risk of osteoporosis-related fractures.

Fractures are often one of the first signs of osteoporosis, a disease in which the bones become less dense and more fragile. People with osteoporosis have an increased risk of fracturing their hips, spines and wrists.

Researchers encourage doctors to pay attention to chest X-rays and begin treatment of osteoporosis right away.

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Article Reviewed: July 5, 2012
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