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Keywords:

  • heart failure;
  • osteoporosis;
  • bone mineral density;
  • hyperparathyroidism;
  • vitamin D;
  • mortality

Aims

Chronic heart failure (CHF) is associated with increased risk of osteoporosis. We investigated the relationship between severity of CHF and bone loss, underlying pathophysiological mechanisms, and the prognostic significance of bone mass changes in heart failure.

Methods and results

Total body (TB) and femoral (F) bone mineral density (BMD), and T- and Z-scores in the femur were measured in 60 men with CHF (56 ± 11 years) and 13 age-matched men free from CHF. The composite study endpoint was death, implantation of a left ventricular assist device (LVAD), or inotrope dependency during a median 2-year follow-up. Parathyroid hormone (PTH) and vitamin D were measured in all subjects. TBBMD, FBMD, T-score, and Z-score were significantly lower in men with CHF. Their PTH levels were also significantly increased (111 ± 59 vs. 39 ± 14; P < 0.001). Patients in New York Heart Association classes III–IV compared with those in classes I–II demonstrated significantly lower TBBMD, FBMD, T-score, and Z-score, and higher PTH (136 ± 69 vs. 86 ± 31; P= 0.001). Increased PTH levels were correlated with reduced TBBMD (P = 0.003), FBMD (P = 0.002), and femur T-score (P = 0.001), reduced cardiac index (P = 0.01) and VO2 peak (P < 0.0001), and increased wedge pressure (P = 0.001). Low TBBMD [hazard ratio (HR) 0.003, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.00–0.58; P = 0.03] and Z-score (HR 0.56, 95% CI 0.35–0.90; P = 0.017) were associated with adverse outcome.

Conclusions

Secondary hyperparathyroidism and reduction in bone density occur in CHF patients and are associated with disease severity. Increased bone mass loss in CHF has prognostic significance.