Is Osteoporosis a Common Complication in Type 2 Diabetes Patients?

Woman electronically measuring her blood sugarPatients with living with type 2 diabetes often have a heightened risk for a variety of related complications. How prevalent is osteoporosis as a complication of diabetes, and what risk factors make some people more likely to develop diabetic osteoporosis?

Researchers explored these questions in a study, “The relationship between insulin resistance and osteoporosis in elderly male type 2 diabetes mellitus and diabetic nephropathy.” The study was conducted by a team led by researchers in the Department of Geratology at Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China. It was published online ahead of print in November 2012 in the Annales d’Endocrinologie.

The study authors were interested in whether type 2 diabetes is associated with abnormal bone mineral density in older males. To test this association, they examined data on the HbA1c and insulin levels in a sample of patients with type 2 diabetes. Additionally, the researchers used dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) to evaluate patients’ bone mineral density. The information was collected at 2-year intervals.

The results of the study showed that a decrease in bone mineral density in elderly men with type 2 diabetes was related to their HbA1c levels and body mass indexes. Lower T-scores were found in patients who had diabetic nephropathy, compared to patients who did not. Additionally, the researchers found that in patients with renal function insufficiency and clinical albuminuria (two conditions that are linked to insulin insufficiency), bone mineral density was lowered in the patients with type 2 diabetes.

The researchers conclude that their findings demonstrate a relationship between type 2 diabetes and the development of osteoporosis. Elderly men with diabetes were more likely to have lowered bone mineral density. The study authors argue that this is likely caused by insulin insufficiencies, decreased insulin sensitivity, and diabetic nephropathy in patients living with type 2 diabetes.

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