Cardiovascular Disease Linked to Hip Fracture Risk

Swedish twin study even suggests elevated risk for those whose twin had heart failure or stroke
By Jeff Muise
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Oct. 20 (HealthDay News) -- The risk of hip fracture is much higher for people who have a diagnosis of cardiovascular disease (CVD), according to a study among Swedish twins reported in the Oct. 21 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Ulf Sennerby, M.D., of Uppsala University in Sweden, and colleagues assembled data from the National Patient Registry on CVD and fractures in a cohort of 31,936 Swedish twins born between 1914 and 1944. Cox proportional hazard regression models were used to estimate risks of fracture after CVD diagnosis.

The researchers found the rate of hip fractures to be much higher for those who had a cardiovascular diagnosis than those without CVD. Per 1,000 person-years, hip fracture rates were 12.6 following heart failure, 12.6 following a stroke, 6.6 following peripheral atherosclerosis, and 5.2 following ischemic heart disease diagnosis, compared with a rate 1.2 per 1,000 person-years for those without CVD. For heart failure, the hazard ratio for hip fracture was 4.40; for stroke, 5.09; for peripheral atherosclerosis, 3.20; and for ischemic heart disease, 2.32. Strikingly, the authors note, twins who had not had heart failure or stroke also had increased hip facture risk if their twin (particularly if identical) had those conditions (hazard ratios, 3.74 and 2.29, respectively).

"A diagnosis of CVD was significantly associated with risk of subsequent hip fracture. Increased risks in co-twins without an index diagnosis suggest genetic factors in the association between CVD and osteoporotic fractures," Sennerby and colleagues conclude.

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