A link has been found between coronary heart disease and osteoporosis, suggesting that these two conditions have similar causes. Osteoporosis is a condition in which the bones weaken and become more susceptible to fractures and breaks.

The study

A study conducted by researchers at the University of Southampton and published in the July 2015 issue of Osteoporosis International discovered that those with a history of heart disease had lower bone mineral density than those without heart problems, especially in the wrist bone.

Using a state-of-the-art scanning device, the team visualized individual layers of the wrist bone, much like a 3D printer builds an object one thin layer at a time. From this visualization, they were able to detect and analyze symptoms of osteoporosis in patients with a history of heart problems.

They scanned 350 men and women between 70 and 85 years old and found that those who had coronary heart diseases (also known as ischemic heart diseases) like angina, heart attack or heart failure had lower bone density, with more women than men suffering from both conditions.

Takeaway

“This is one of the first studies to use this technology to explore bone geometry, density and microstructure in patients with heart disease,” said Professor Cyrus Cooper, director of the MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit and professor of rheumatology at the University of Southampton, in a news release. “The findings highlight the need to evaluate a history of heart disease in the management of osteoporosis in older people, and further research is also needed to provide a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms which explain the link between osteoporosis and heart disease.”

“In essence, this work and others show that people with a history of cardiovascular disease tend to have weaker bones,” said Dr. Julien Paccou, clinical research fellow at the University of Southampton.

Consider talking to your doctor about the possibility of osteoporosis if you have coronary heart disease, and discuss the necessary treatments for this condition.

Have you been diagnosed with osteoporosis?