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Osteoporosis and heart failure: Interlinked disorders
In India, heart failure is a common cause of morbidity and mortality with about 30 million Indians suffering from coronary heart disease. Another common 'age-related' health condition is osteoporosis, which has an overall prevalence of about 29%. Both these conditions become highly prevalent with advancing age.
There has been growing line of evidence that suggests that heart diseases and Osteoporosis may be co-morbid health conditions, especially in the elderly.

A recent study looked at data from about 45,500 adults who had a history of low Bone Mineral Density (BMD), these patients were followed up to 10 years. Of those people, 1,841 had recent-onset heart failure. The researchers concluded that heart failure was associated with a 30 percent increased in the risk of major fractures namely, wrist, hip and vertebral fractures.

Dr. K.K Aggarwal, National President Elect, Indian Medical Association said in a statement, "This is one of the many studies that have reported a correlation between heart failure and osteoporosis. The underlying cause of the co-existence of these two disorders can be attributed to shared risk factors, both genetic and environmental. These intersecting risk factors include old-age, smoking, hypertension, Diabetes, low blood calcium and vitamin D and physical inactivity."

"The association between these two conditions has opened new paradigms for the treatment and management options for these disorders. Understanding the mechanism and intersecting biological pathways between heart failure and osteoporosis might lead to new treatments and management options for both these conditions that share a high burden in India in terms of morbidity and premature mortality. This also gives us an option of exploring newer approaches towards a diagnosis. Patients with a lower than normal BMD can be screened for co-associated heart conditions and those having a history of heart failure can be screened for BMD, to promote prompt management measures", Dr Aggarwal added.

Unfortunately, osteoporosis is infamously known as the 'silent disease' and is an under-recognized and undertreated condition. Due to inadequate awareness, there is a huge care gap between Osteoporosis and coronary heart disease. 

The very first step in dealing with this care gap in the medical setting is to make physicians, especially cardiologists specialising in heart failure, aware of the co-association of these conditions. This will warrant aggressive awareness measures.

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