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Osteoporosis happens when your body loses bone faster than it creates new bone. It’s often called “the silent disease,” since it often progresses without symptoms until bone loss progresses to the point where a sudden bump or fall causes a fracture.
And it’s more than just brittle bones. Research shows that women over 60 who break a hip in a fall are five times more likely to die within a year.
So a newly developed drug that prevents osteoporosis is good news!
Except that ….
Like most drugs, it comes with possible side effects that are often as bad as the condition it’s treating.
Here’s what you need to know about a new osteoporosis drug and the research that’s been done on its connection to heart attack…
A drug that’s great at preventing fractures, but ….
Romosozumab is a new drug that reduces the risk of fracture in women with severe osteoporosis.
It does this by blocking the formation of sclerostin, a protein that comes from bone cells and inhibits bone formation.
But trial data suggests that romosozumab may also cause an increased risk of heart attack.
Further research has been inconclusive on this, so an international group of researchers set out to determine whether this was really a problem.
Increases risk of heart disease and more
“We wanted to predict whether romosozumab’s action in blocking sclerostin might lead to an increased risk of heart attack, by examining effects of a genetic tendency to lower levels of sclerostin, on the basis that this might reproduce some of the effects of administering the drug,” says lead author Jon Tobias, Professor of Rheumatology at Bristol Medical School.
In other words, they wanted to find out whether people with a genetic tendency toward lower levels of sclerostin also had the same higher risk of heart attack as those who had their sclerostin levels lowered by the drug.
And in fact, they did.
Their analysis of data from 33,961 subjects suggested that lowering sclerostin levels using romosozoumab might lead to a 30 percent increased risk of heart attack.
But that’s not all.
An increased risk of calcification of the arteries of the heart, hypertension, stroke, and type 2 diabetes were discovered — all of which could explain the higher risk of heart attack.
Proceed with caution
Before you leap at a promising new drug, talk with your doctor about your risk factors.
In this case, a conversation about your built-in risks of heart disease would be in order. Those might include:
- A family history of heart disease
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Smoking or exposure to second-hand smoke
- A sedentary lifestyle
Your doctor should help you assess the risks and determine whether it’s right for you.
Of course, we all know the importance of vitamin D for bone health, so also get him to check your levels, but you could probably use a refresher on the forgotten anti-fracture vitamin…
Editor’s note: There are numerous safe and natural ways to decrease your risk of blood clots including the 25-cent vitamin, the nutrient that acts as a natural blood thinner and the powerful herb that helps clear plaque. To discover these and more, click here for Hushed Up Natural Heart Cures and Common Misconceptions of Popular Heart Treatments!
Lowering of circulating sclerostin may increase risk of atherosclerosis and its risk factors: evidence from a genome-wide association meta-analysis followed by Mendelian randomization — Arthritis and Rheumatology