Sex- and race-specific associations of bone mineral density with incident heart failure and its subtypes in older adults

Hans Gao, Sheena Patel, Raymond B. Fohtung, Peggy M. Cawthon, Anne B. Newman, Jane A. Cauley, Laura Carbone, Paulo H.M. Chaves, Phyllis K. Stein, Roberto Civitelli, Jorge R. Kizer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Previous studies have suggested an association between bone mineral density (BMD) and heart failure (HF) risk that may be race-dependent. Methods: We evaluated the relationship between BMD and incident HF in a cohort of older adults, the Health, Aging, and Body Composition (Health ABC) study (n = 2835), and next performed a pooled analysis involving a second older cohort, the Cardiovascular Health Study (n = 1268). Hip BMD was measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry in both cohorts and spine BMD by computed tomography in a subset from Health ABC. Results: In Health ABC, lower BMD at the total hip was associated with higher incident HF in Black women after multivariable adjustment. Similar associations were found for BMD at the femoral neck and spine. In both cohorts, pooled analysis again revealed an association between lower total hip BMD and increased risk of HF in Black women (HR = 1.41 per 0.1-g/cm2 decrement [95% CI = 1.23–1.62]), and showed the same to be true for White men (HR = 1.12 [1.03–1.21]). There was a decreased risk of HF in Black men (HR 0.80 [0.70–0.91]), but no relationship in White women. The associations were numerically stronger with HFpEF for Black women and White men, and with HFrEF for Black men. Findings were similar for femoral neck BMD. Sensitivity analyses delaying HF follow-up by 2 years eliminated the association in Black men. Conclusions: Lower BMD was associated with higher risk of HF and especially HFpEF in older Black women and White men, highlighting the need for additional investigation into underlying mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)742-755
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2023


  • DXA scan
  • bone mineral density
  • computed tomography
  • heart failure
  • race
  • sex


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