ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Folic Acid Might Offer Allergy Relief
Air Pollution May Raise Blood Pressure
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Quit Smoking the Holistic Way
Relaxation Tapes or Mozart Lower Blood Pressure
Music Therapy For Prehistoric Man?
ANIMAL CARE
Safe Toys for Dogs
Beware of Dog Bites
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
BONES & JOINTS
Postmenopausal Women With Breast Cancer Face Joint Issues
Study Examines How Rheumatoid Arthritis Destroys Bone
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
CANCER
Green Tea Compound Slowed Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
Herb May Counter Liver Damage From Chemo
Many Ignore Symptoms of Bladder Trouble
CAREGIVING
UV Lights, Fans May Curb TB Spread in Hospitals
Coordination Has Led to Quicker Heart Treatment
Birthmark or Blood Vessel Problem?
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
A Brisk Pace May Keep Stroke at Bay
Bad Marriages Harder on Women's Health
Walk 100 Steps a Minute for 'Moderate' Exercise
COSMETIC
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
DENTAL, ORAL
An Oral Approach to Heart Disease
Scientists Find Gene for Tooth Enamel
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
DIABETES
Lifestyle Factors Tied to Older Adults' Diabetes Risk
Arthritis Hits More Than Half of Diabetics
Vitamin K Slows Insulin Resistance in Older Men
DIET, NUTRITION
Adding Garlic Might Cut Cancer Risk
Imagine Food Aromas That Prevent Overeating
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Cats Can Trigger Eczema in Some Infants
Pesticides on Produce Tied to ADHD in Children
Hurricane Threats: Time to Batten Down the Hatches
EYE CARE, VISION
Nutrient-Rich Diet Lowers Risk of Age-Related Eye Disease
Green Tea May Ward Off Eye Disease
Brain Pressure More Likely to Cause Vision Loss in Men
FITNESS
Yoga Can Ease Lower Back Pain
Resistance Training Boosts Mobility in Knee Arthritis Patients
MRSA Infections Can Bug Fitness Buffs
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
GENERAL HEALTH
Life Expectancy in U.S. Hits New High
Green Spaces Boost the Body and the Mind
Dr Churchill & Ashley Pelton Interview 1 of 4
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
After a Stroke, Light Exercise Gets Hands, Arms Working Again
Obese People Seem to Do Better With Heart Disease
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Help Your Kids Stay Active
Babies Who Eat Fish Lower Eczema Risk
Obese Children More Likely to Suffer Lower Body Injuries
MEN'S HEALTH
Soy Linked to Low Sperm Count
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
MENTAL HEALTH
Keeping Mentally Active Seems To Keep The Brain Active
Common Social Groups and Race, Seem to Help People Relate
Massage Fosters Healing in Bereaved Relatives
PAIN
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Pregnant Women Exposed To Certain Pollutants Could Lower Childs IQ
Before Conceiving, Take Folic Acid for One Full Year
Breast-Feeding Benefits Moms and Babies
SENIORS
Any Old Cane Won't Do
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
Older People at Greater Risk of Swine Flu Death
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Mom and Baby Alike May Benefit From Exercise
Green Tea May Help Treat Uterine Fibroids
Health Tip: Be More Comfortable During Childbirth
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Heart Failure Raises Risk of Fractures

MONDAY, Oct. 20 (HealthDay News) -- People with heart failure face a higher risk of fractures, particularly of potentially crippling breaks in the hip bones, new Canadian research finds.

The study of more than 16,000 heart disease patients treated at emergency rooms in the province of Alberta found a more than fourfold higher incidence of fractures among the 2,000 of them with heart failure. The report is in the Nov. 4 issue of Circulation.

Overall, 4.6 percent of those with heart failure, the progressive loss of the heart's ability to pump blood, had broken bones in the year after the emergency room visit, compared to only 1 percent of people with other heart conditions. The one-year rate for hip fractures was 1.3 percent for those with heart failure, compared to 0.1 percent of those with other heart conditions.

While a 1997 study found a hint of low bone density among people getting heart transplants because of heart failure, "this is the first large-scale study of heart failure and fracture rate," said study author Dr. Justin A. Ezekowitz, director of the Heart Function Clinic at the University of Alberta, in Edmonton.

The finding has several important implications for people with heart failure and the doctors who treat them, Ezekowitz said. The higher incidence of hip fractures is especially worrying, he said, since, "they can be seriously debilitating for older folks, increasing the risk of blood clots to the legs and development of pneumonia."

"First, we need appropriate treatment of osteoporosis for patients with heart failure," Ezekowitz said. "Second, we need to encourage heart failure patients to maintain exercise and good nutrition."

Osteoporosis is loss of bone mass that increases the risk of fracture. Exercise and proper dieting are recommended to help prevent the condition.

It's not clear why heart failure should lead to weaker bones, Ezekowitz said. One theory is that the diuretic drugs often prescribed for people with heart failure might be bad for the bones, he said. Another possibility is the higher level of parathyroid hormone, which handles calcium and magnesium, often seen in heart failure could have a bone-weakening effect.

Physicians treating people for heart failure need to be more aware of the risk of fractures, said Dr. Mariell L. Jessup, director of the heart failure and transplant program at the University of Pennsylvania and a spokeswoman for the American Heart Association.

"When patients have such a severe disease, we tend to ignore the other problems they might have," Jessup said. "There is good reason to focus on the total patient, and not just their heart failure."

Awareness of the vitamin D status of someone with heart failure is important, both Jessup and Ezekowitz said. Vitamin D is directly involved in bone strength. But both expressed doubts about using vitamin D supplements specifically for heart failure patients.

"People should be on vitamin D supplements according to the guidelines for osteoporosis care," Ezekowitz said. "There haven't been a lot of clinical trials testing vitamin D supplements in heart failure patients."

Asked about vitamin D, Jessup said, "I treat heart disease. I leave that question to the endocrinologists."

-Ed Edelson

More information

Heart failure is described by the American Heart Association.



SOURCES: Justin A. Ezekowitz, director, Heart Function Clinic, assistant professor, medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada; Mariell L. Jessup, professor, medicine, and director, heart failure and transplant program, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; Nov. 4, 2008, Circulation

Last Updated: Oct. 20, 2008

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