Bone mineral density (BMD) loss in adults with type 1 diabetes could be prevented through an improvement in HbA1c levels, according to new research.
A study presented at the European Congress of Endocrinology found that better glycemic control appears to aid bone health by keeping hold of essential minerals.
Patients who reduce their HbA1c levels can see a notable increase in the strength of their bones, scientists from the University of Thessaly, Greece, discovered.
Researchers analyzed data from 107 patients with type 1 diabetes, all of whom underwent DXA scans of the lumbar spine and femoral neck bones.
A further 95 people were used in the study who matched up to age, sex and Body Mass Index (BMI) characteristics averages of the group with type 1 diabetes.
Researchers assessed bone resorption levels in bone formations and measured HbA1c levels in both groups, with 50 patients from the diabetes group undergoing the same measurements after one year.
Of the returning 50 patients with diabetes, 36 experienced a 6 mmol/mol (0.5%) or greater decrease in HbA1c, with scientists finding a 3.3 per cent increase in their BMD at the lumbar spine and 5.6 per cent increase at the femoral neck on average.
Eleftheria Barmpa, lead researcher, said: “Improvement of glycemic control appears to ameliorate BMD and bone turnover and could help to stabilize the bone mass in these patients.
“Identifying the factors that affect bone in patients with [type 1 diabetes] can help to improve the health of their bones.”

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