If you have heart failure, your cardiologist must have educated you on how you can prevent your condition from progressing. Making healthy food choices, exercising, and making sure you take all the prescribed medications are crucial for preventing serious and potentially life-threatening complications associated with heart failure.
However, has your cardiologist also told you about how you can lower your risk for fractures? If not, you may be curious about their correlation. Here are the answers.
How Heart Failure Patients Are Susceptible to Fractures
Research indicates that people with heart problems, such as heart failure, have low bone density. Bone density refers to the amount of calcium and minerals found in your bones. A low bone density signifies an increased risk of osteoporosis (bone loss), and consequently, fractures.
Such increased risk for fractures in heart failure patients can be ascribed to the effect of certain medications on the body’s ability to absorb vitamin D, a nutrient crucial for optimal bone health. Studies show that loop diuretics – medications that facilitate healthy heart function by reducing water retention in the body– affect vitamin D absorption, thereby increasing a person’s risk for fractures.
Further Connection Between Heart Failure and Osteoporosis
Smoking and excessive alcohol drinking are two major risk factors for both heart failure and osteoporosis.
To explicate, nicotine inhibits calcium absorption in the body, causing low bone mass and low bone mineral density. Smokers are also more susceptible to chest pains, strokes, heart attacks, and/or heart failure, because nicotine causes blood vessels to constrict, thereby limiting the amount of oxygen being transported to the heart.
In the case of chronic, heavy alcohol consumption, human and animal studies have demonstrated that it can wreak havoc on bone health by also interfering with the body’s ability to absorb calcium. As far as the link between chronic, excessive alcohol consumption and heart failure, a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology in 2017 shows that people living with alcohol addiction have a 2.3-fold increased risk of congestive heart failure.
The connection between heart failure and osteoporosis has also been established in postmenopausal women: their risk for both heart failure and osteoporosis is said to increase after menopause due to the dramatic decline of estrogen levels. Estrogen has shown to have a positive effect on both bone and heart health.
Exceptional Cardiovascular Care in Northern New Jersey
At Hudson MD Group, our multispecialty team includes board-certified cardiologists who have established a solid reputation for providing exceptional care to countless patients in Northern New Jersey.
To schedule a consultation with one of our cardiologists or if you have any questions about the services that we provide, call us at (973) 705-4914. You may also use our appointment request form. We look forward to providing you with the highest quality of cardiovascular care!