Osteoporosis and Heart Disease in Older Adults: New Study Findings

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A new study looked at how problems with blood vessels might be linked to weaker bones in older people. Scientists wanted to see if the same things that cause heart problems also cause bones to get weaker, or if blood vessel issues directly make bones fragile as people age.

Researchers studied 1,391 people from the Framingham Heart Study. They measured blood flow, blood pressure, and used special scans to look at bone density and structure.

The study, called “Vascular function and skeletal fragility,” found that people with blood vessel problems often had weaker bones. But after adjusting for age, gender, and other factors, the link wasn’t as strong. This means that blood vessel problems alone might not cause weak bones. Instead, shared factors like aging might affect both the heart and bones.

Dr. Ilana Usiskin from Brigham and Women’s Hospital said that the study shows blood vessel issues don’t necessarily predict weak bones on their own. Dr. Lisa Samelson from Harvard Medical School added that understanding these links can help prevent bone fractures in older adults.

The study was a team effort by scientists from the Framingham Heart Study, Boston University, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and Hebrew SeniorLife.

Osteoporosis is when bones become weak and fragile, making them more likely to break. Cardiovascular disease includes conditions like heart attacks and strokes caused by blood flow problems.

Key Insights:

  • Blood vessel problems and weak bones often occur together in older people.
  • The study suggests that aging and other factors may affect both heart and bone health.
  • Understanding these connections can help prevent bone fractures.

Source: Journal of Bone and Mineral Research

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