People with type 1 diabetes are more likely to fracture their bones than people without diabetes, according to new research.
The study, conducted by researchers at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, found that the heightened risk begins in childhood (assuming the patient is diagnosed as a child) and continues throughout adulthood.
The researchers examined the data of 30,394 participants, none of whom were older than 89, and all of whom had type 1 diabetes. This data was compared to that of 303,872 people without type 1 diabetes.
The study found that 19.6 per cent of type 1 diabetes patients had a history of bone fractures, compared to 17 per cent of the control group. Similarly, 8.6 per cent of diabetic participants had experienced incident fractures, compared to 6.1 per cent of the control group.
The percentage difference between the two groups does not, at first, sound huge. But, when examining the data of over 300,000 individuals, a difference of 2.6 per cent includes a significant number of people.
“There is growing evidence to suggest that type 1 diabetes results in impaired bone health and skeletal fragility,” said David R. Weber, MD, MS, of Golisano Children’s Hospital.
“Our study extends these findings, showing for the first time that type 1 diabetes is associated with an increased risk of fracture that begins in childhood and extends across the entire lifespan. Further research is necessary to elucidate the etiology of type 1 diabetes-related skeletal fragility and to develop appropriate clinical practice guidelines for the screening, prevention and treatment of this important diabetes-related complication.”
Studies like these increase the existing knowledge about diabetes and its effect on the skeleton. The more research is conducted, the more likely that better treatments will be developed in the near future.
The findings were published in Diabetes Care.

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