In a new study, researchers found links between lower bone mineral density and worse heart health in both men and women.
The research was conducted by a team at the Queen Mary University of London and the University of Southampton.
The team used the internationally unique UK Biobank cohort to examine links between bone and heart health.
Osteoporosis and heart disease are important public health problems. These conditions share a number of risk factors such as increasing age, smoking, and a sedentary lifestyle.
Research shows that there may be links between the two conditions even after accounting for shared risk factors.
This suggests that there may be biological pathways linking the two conditions, and investigating these links could reveal targets for novel drug therapies.
However, current research studies lack objective measures of bone and heart health and are often limited to studies of small numbers of people for relatively short periods of time.
In the study, the researchers found that lower bone density was linked to greater arterial stiffness (indicating poor cardiovascular health) in both men and women.
They also found that individuals with poor bone health had an increased risk of dying from ischemic heart disease.
These links were not explained by shared risk factors or traditional cardiovascular risk factors.
Interestingly, they found that the mechanisms underlying the bone-heart relationship appeared different in men and women.
The study demonstrates clear links between bone disease and heart health. The findings are important to improve disease prevention and treatment strategies.
One author of the study is Dr. Zahra Raisi-Estabragh, BHF Clinical Research Training Fellow.
The study is published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research.
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