If you have high blood pressure and inflammation, read on to learn how to take informed care of your bone health.
- Various studies suggest that high blood pressure may increase the onset of osteoporosis by increasing the body’s inflammatory response and altering the blood supply to the bones.
- Osteoporosis commonly occurs in postmenopausal women and is highly correlated with high blood pressure.
- Understanding how high blood pressure can induce osteoporosis can help young adults take better care of their bone health and encourage lifestyle changes that may prevent future bone loss.
Osteoporosis is a bone disease that develops when bone mineral density and bone mass decrease. It results in lower bone strength and risks of fracture.
The condition most commonly occurs in menopausal women and is known to affect the:
- Hip bone
The onset of osteoporosis can begin at any age, and primarily Asian and non-Hispanic white women and non-Hispanic white men develop this condition. However, according to the WHO, osteoporosis usually begins around 50 years in women. In men, the average age is 70 years or older.
The American Heart Association’s Hypertension Scientific Session’s 2022 study concluded that high blood pressure seemed to accelerate the onset of osteoporosis and bone aging in mice.
Osteoporosis and High Blood Pressure
The study mentioned above was conducted on 45 mice which were divided into the following groups:
Number of Mice
Induced high blood pressure with hormone angiotensin II over six weeks
Induced high blood pressure with hormone angiotensin II over six weeks
For standardization, the human age equivalent for young mice was 20 to 30 years, and the human equivalent for older mice was 47 to 50 years.
At the end of the study, the young mice that were in the induced high blood pressure category showed the following:
- Reduced bone volume by 24%.
- An 18% reduction in the thickness of trabecular bone (a sponge-like material) at the end of long bones like femurs and spinal columns.
- Reduction in the bones’ ability, by 34%, to withstand force, weakened bones, and increased fractures due to failure force.
In comparison, the older mice with induced high blood pressure did not display a significant deterioration in bone health. In short, the younger mice showed dire symptoms.
Elizabeth Hennen from Vanderbilt University, Tennessee, reported that “..being hypertensive at a younger age essentially aged bones as if they were 25 years older. Old mice will experience bone loss whether they are hypertensive or not.”
In short, hypertension and increased blood pressure at a younger age can trigger age-related bone loss much earlier.
Scientists also observed that in this condition, inflammation-signaling molecules induced high inflammation levels in young hypertensive mice.
From this study, it can be concluded:
- High blood pressure is an inflammatory disease.
- In addition, high blood pressure and aging activate cells that are implicated in osteoporosis.
- Therefore, those with osteoporosis must be screened for high blood pressure and vice versa.
The Danger of High Blood Pressure
There are various reasons why blood pressure may exacerbate osteoporosis. Dr. Ragavendara Baliga, from the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, stated that high blood pressure could alter the blood supply to bone marrow and bones, triggering an inflammatory response.
Dr. Baliga also concluded that medicines to lower blood pressure also significantly reduced the risk of fractures.
Dr. Rigved from Providence Saint John’s Health Center, California, stated that younger mice had a lower inflammatory burden that spikes when hypertension occurs. This may occur because of the inflammatory overload, as the young mice were not exposed to such significant inflammation. The result is declining bone health and bone loss.
A Chinese study involving over 2,000 postmenopausal women concluded that hypertension was correlated with osteoporosis. According to another study conducted in 2021, women with osteoporosis had an increased prevalence of high blood pressure.
Likewise, a 2020 study discovered that hypertensive conditions affect bone marrow density in patients, which concludes a significant relationship between high blood pressure and the onset of osteoporosis.
In short, high blood pressure can trigger osteoporosis by disrupting the body’s regular functions, like blood supply, which results in weakened bones, lower bone density, and other bone-related problems that require immediate medical intervention.
Managing High Blood Pressure and Osteoporosis
Hypertension is a distressing condition. Osteoporosis is also an equally tricky condition. Many individuals juggle both comorbidities together.
However, experts suggest the following ways to control the onset of osteoporosis:
- Exercising regularly.
- Performing weight-bearing exercises like walking and strength training.
- Consuming alcohol in limited quantity.
- Avoiding nicotine and tobacco products.
- Eating a nutritious diet that is rich in calcium and Vitamin D.
- Taking your prescribed osteoporosis medication regularly and on schedule.
Monitoring blood pressure is also highly recommended. Individuals with hypertension and osteoporosis must regulate or lower their blood pressure.
This can be achieved by:
- Regularly monitoring blood pressure.
- Making lifestyle changes like exercising and consuming a nutrient-dense diet.
- Reducing salt intake.
- Increasing physical activity.
- Following a healthy sleep schedule.
- Controlling stressors.
If you suspect the onset of osteoporosis and high blood pressure, you must contact your physician immediately and schedule a screening.
High blood pressure is a complex condition. It is commonly found alongside comorbidities like kidney issues, diabetes, thyroid problems, and obesity. However, recent research suggests it may also be a crucial indicator of bone health.
Experts suggest using a combination of physician-prescribed medication and lifestyle modifications to lower blood pressure and regulate it to avoid problems like bone health decline and fractures.
If you suspect your blood pressure spikes are unusual, contact your physician immediately and incorporate healthy lifestyle changes to avoid further worsening your health condition.
Bellantoni, M. F. “Osteoporosis Information.” Johns Hopkins Arthiritis Center. https://www.hopkinsarthritis.org/arthritis-info/osteoporosis-info
Shimizu, H et al. “Angiotensin II accelerates osteoporosis by activating osteoclasts.” The FASEB Journal 22.7 (2008): 2465-2475. https://faseb.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1096/fj.07-098954
Chai, H et al. “Hypertension is associated with osteoporosis: a case-control study in Chinese postmenopausal women.” BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 22 (2021). https://rdcu.be/c0ZAA
Ye, Z., Lu, H. and Liu, P. “Association between essential hypertension and bone mineral density: a systematic review and meta-analysis.” Oncotarget Open Access Impact Journal 8.40 (2017): 68916–68927. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5620307/
“High blood pressure may accelerate bone aging.” Heart.org (2022). https://newsroom.heart.org/news/high-blood-pressure-may-accelerate-bone-aging
Shukla, D. “High blood pressure linked to bone loss and aging, mouse study finds.” Medical News Today (2022). https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/high-blood-pressure-linked-to-bone-loss-aging-in-young-mice