Original Article

Osteoporosis International

, Volume 17, Issue 9, pp 1420-1427

First online:

Femoral bone mineral density in patients with heart failure

  • A. M. KennyAffiliated withCenter on Aging, MC-5215, University of Connecticut Health Center Email author 
  • , R. BoxerAffiliated withCase Western University Hospital
  • , S. WalshAffiliated withCenter on Biostatistics, University of Connecticut Health Center
  • , W. D. HagerAffiliated withDivision of Cardiology, University of Connecticut Health Center
  • , L. G. RaiszAffiliated withDivision of Musculoskeletal Health, University of Connecticut Health Center

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Heart failure and osteoporosis are common conditions in older, frail individuals. It is important to investigate interactions of the common problems in the aging population to devise relevant interventions.


Sixty individuals (43 men, mean age 77±9 years, and 17 women, mean age 78±12 years) with heart failure (HF) and 23 age- and gender-matched non-HF controls (15 men, eight women; mean age 77±9 years) underwent hip and bone mineral density (BMD) assessments; frailty assessment; physical performance assessment including 6-min walk, grip strength, and self-reported physical activity; and biochemical assessment including calcium, parathyroid hormone (PTH), 25-hydroxy vitamin D (25-OHD), estradiol, creatinine (Cr), and blood urea nitrogen levels (BUN).


Significant differences between HF and control groups were found for BMD Z-scores of the femoral neck, total femur, and trochanteric region at the femur (p<.05). Further differences between groups included frailty score (p=.02), 6-min walking distance (p<.001), and self-reported physical activity (p=.001). In addition, several differences between groups were present for calcium (p=.054), PTH (p<.001), 25-OHD (p=.01), Cr (p=.04), and BUN (p=.01). In regression analysis, HF (defined as case, by ejection fraction, or by New York Heart Association class), frailty status, and vitamin D were significant predictors of lower bone mass at the femur.


Individuals with HF have lower BMD, in part related to lower vitamin D status and higher frailty rates. Interventions to optimize vitamin D and physical activity should be explored to prevent bone loss in individuals with heart failure.


Frailty Heart failure Osteoporosis 25-OHD