A study of twins found the risk of hip fracture was significantly increased following a diagnosis of cardiovascular disease, with analysis also suggesting a genetic predisposition to the development of CVD and fractures, according to a study in the Oct. 21 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Researchers at Uppsala (Sweden) University used information from 31,936 twins in the Swedish Twin Registry to investigate the associations. In comparison with individuals without CVD, patients with heart failure had about a four-fold increased rate of hip fracture. Individuals with a stroke, which is known to have an association with hip fracture, had five times the rate. The elevated hip fracture rate was also present after ischemic stroke, hemorrhagic stroke, peripheral atherosclerosis, and ischemic heart disease.
Identical twins without heart failure and stroke also had, after their co-twins had been exposed to these respective diseases, an increased rate of hip fracture. The co-twins of those with heart failure had a 3.7-fold increased risk for hip fracture, and with stroke had a 2.3 times higher risk of hip fracture. This led researchers to conclude the risk may be genetic in nature or based on childhood environmental factors.