Heart failure patients 'at higher risk of fractures'

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Heart failure patients are at a higher risk of suffering fractures, new research claims.

In a study published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association today, health experts claim heart failure patients are more likely to suffer from conditions such as debilitating hip fracture than other heart patients and claim they should be screened and treated for osteoporosis.

Researchers found that one year after visiting hospital, 4.6 per cent of heart failure patients experienced a fracture, compared to one per cent of other heart patients.

Also, the rate for hip fractures after a year was 1.3 percent for heart failure patients, and only 0.1 per cent for the other patients.

Overall, the report claims that heart failure patients are four times more likely to suffer a fracture and have a 6.3 times higher risk of hip fracture as patients with heart attacks, chest pain or rhythm disturbances.

"This is the first study to link heart failure patients to a higher risk of fractures," said author Justin Ezekowitz from the University of Alberta in Canada.

Experts claim that heart failure and osteoporosis share common risk factors such as old age, female sex, smoking and type 2 diabetes.

He concluded that further study was needed to determine the mechanism linking heart failure and fractures.

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