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Brittle Bone Sufferers at Risk from Heart Disease

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Posted by on Saturday, December 4, 2010, 5:50
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Patients with brittle bone disease are more likely to suffer heart disease as well, a study has found. Scientists say that both conditions have the same biological cause, meaning contracting one makes an individual more susceptible to the other.

Brittle Bone Sufferers at Risk from Heart Disease
Brittle Bone Sufferers at Risk from Heart Disease

The team from the University of Tromso in Norway studied 6,000 patients and found that women who suffered heart problems had much lower bone density than other women of the same age.
This led them to link osteoporosis, the disease that weakens bones, with a atherosclerosis, the hardening of arteries that can lead to heart disease and even strokes.

The link could be caused by a hormone, OPG, which is found in high levels in post-menopausal women.Lead researcher Professor Jane Jorgensen said: ‘We have found that bone loss is linked to a high level of OPG in post-menopausal women.

‘In addition, we see that a high level of OPG also predicts the development of atherosclerosis in women.‘We hope that our findings will help to develop methods of preventing these serious diseases.’

Osteoporosis affects around three million people in the UK and previous research has suggested that two cups of tomato juice a day can help prevent the disease.Heart disease kills 200,000 suffers in the UK each year and costs the NHS £15billion over the same period.

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