Diabetes Raises Risk of Bone Loss Study Reveals
A recent study of type 1 and type 2 diabetics reveals a link between the disease and a decrease in bone loss. Surprisingly, men with type 1 diabetes experienced an increased risk of developing osteoporosis similar to post-menopausal women with type 2 diabetes. The study was published in the journal Acta Diabetology.
The study looked at changes in bone density and frequency of fractures of 26 patients with type 1, and 27 patients with type 2 diabetes for a period of 5 years. They found that patients who were type 2 diabetics were 1 and a half to nearly 2 times as likely to develop bone fractures. Patients with type 1 diabetes had an even more severe outcome. They were between 6 and 7 times more likely to develop bone fractures then those without the disease.
Researchers found that men with type 1 diabetes were at greatest risk for bone loss, and that the men lost bone density quicker than their female counterparts. Dr. Emma Hamilton of the University of Western Australia, an author in the study, stated that, “the findings suggest young men with Type 1 diabetes need to do weight-bearing exercise and supplement their diets with calcium and vitamin D to delay bone degeneration,” according to the CBC report.
Dr. Hamilton noted that the reason for this difference has yet to be determined, and she cautions using a small study such as this. "We have found this trend in our group, but it is not clear whether this is a wider issue or something particular to our small group," says Hamilton. Other researchers have also found a connection between gender, diabetes, and bone loss. Ebeling et al. studied the topic in 2008 in an article entitled “Osteoporosis in Men.” Still, Hamilton asserts that, "There is quite a complex interplay of factors that could be involved."
Bone is a “Dynamic Organ”
While many think of bones as a stable part of the human anatomy, this and other research reveal that bone is truly a “dynamic organ” says Hamilton. As bone mineral density is reduced, the structure of the bone deteriorates, and the variety of proteins available to the bone change, as well as the amount of these proteins.
This and other research shows that osteoporosis is likely another major complication of the diabetes. Further research is needed to determine what factors play in the development of bone loss in diabetic patients.