Osteoporosis and heart failure

Whittingham, Katharine; Pinnock, David
October 2012
British Journal of Cardiac Nursing;Oct2012, Vol. 7 Issue 10, p467
Academic Journal
Over recent years there has been an increased interest in osteoporosis as a comorbidity with heart failure, as it is also associated with lifestyle factors relating to cardiovascular disease. There is clear evidence of a correlation between fracture risk and heart failure. Heart failure patients are a vulnerable population for developing osteoporosis; they are predominantly older people, often with existing comorbidities (for example diabetes and renal impairment) and have reduced exercise capacity as a result of the condition. Additionally there are the physiological and pharmacological implications of the condition including high levels of aldosterone and the effects of loop diuretics on calcium levels. It is therefore important that this increased risk is recognised and patients assessed accordingly. The review article outlines the pathophysiology of osteoporosis, identifies the prevalence of the condition in male and female heart failure populations, indicates the typology of heart failure patients likely to develop this problem, and concludes with recommendations for nurses working with patients whose risk should be assessed.


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