Patients with type 2 diabetes have an increased risk of developing osteoarthritis regardless of Body Mass Index (BMI) or weight, a new review finds.
Researchers at the University of California and Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine wanted to investigate the relationship between type 2 diabetes and osteoarthritis. They conducted a systemic review of observation studies reporting an association between the two conditions.
Sangeeta Kashyap, MD and Mia F. Williams, MD, MS analysed 10 studies as part of the review. All of these studies have previously acknowledged an association between type 2 diabetes and impaired glucose tolerance and the development or presence of osteoarthritis of any joint.
In total they reviewed 16,472 patients and made two findings. The first was that an association indeed existed between type 2 diabetes and osteoarthritis; the second was that an association still existed between the two conditions in analyses that controlled for weight or BMI.
This indicates that weight and BMI do not have a major influence on the development of osteoarthritis within type 2 diabetes.
Kashyap told Endocrine Today: “Osteoarthritis is more than just wear and tear of joints. It is closely related to type 2 diabetes and prediabetes independent of obesity.”
The researchers added that their results emphasise the need to identify individuals with type 2 diabetes and educate them on the increased risk, progression and severity of osteoarthritis.
“Implementing exercise training for patients with diabetes needs to encompass how they are affected by osteoarthritis,” said Kasyap. “Further research on the effects of various antidiabetic agents that improve glycemic control and assist with weight loss on progression of osteoarthritis are needed.”
The findings appear in the Journal of Diabetes and its Complications.

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