Are adults with diabetes more prone to suffering broken bones?

by Barbara Hewitt on December 27, 2012

Are adults with diabetes more prone to suffering broken bones?

Adults with diabetes need to be aware that they are at a higher risk of breaking bones, new research says. Scientists in the United States have found that adults diagnosed with diabetes are at significantly increased risk of fracture related hospitalisation. The researchers from the department of epidemiology at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at John Hopkins University, Baltimore undertook a large community based study of 15,140 people aged 45 to 64 over a 20 year period.

There were a total of 1,078 fracture related hospitalisations although the incidence of those among people with diabetes was significantly greater, they found. ‘Our results support recommendations from the American Diabetes Association for assessment of fracture risk and implementation of primary and secondary prevention strategies in appropriate patient populations,’ the study report says. However, the fracture risk was not increased among those with undiagnosed diabetes compared with those without diabetes.

After adjustment for the covariates of age, sex, race, body mass index, alcohol consumption, cigarette smoking, sports activity etc, diagnosed diabetes was still associated with a significantly increased risk for fracture hospitalisation. Among just those with diagnosed diabetes, use of oral diabetes medications did not increase fracture risk compared with no diabetes medication use. However, the use of insulin, with or without concomitant oral medication, was associated with an increased risk of factures.

Quote from DiabetesForum.com : ” About a week ago it had gotten so bad that it hurt to walk for any distance. This is something he was going to address after getting the toenails finished not knowing that I had diabetes. But today, he ran a few tests and came to the conclusion that I have a slight case of neuropathy.”

The study also suggests that people with poor glycaemia control may particularly benefit from prevention efforts, regardless of age. Some evidence also suggests that exercise programmes might reduce fracture risk among patients with diabetes. ‘Further studies are needed to understand if exercise interventions or strategies to improve glycaemia control while minimising hypoglycaemic episodes may prevent fractures among persons with diabetes,’ it concludes.


The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of the DiabetesForum.com Community and should not be interpreted as medical advice. Please see your doctor before making any changes to your diabetes management plan.

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