Home Science Diabetes sufferers up to four times more likely to break a bone

Diabetes sufferers up to four times more likely to break a bone

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People with diabetes are up to four times more likely to break a bone — and the risk increases over time for Type 2 patients, review finds

  • Researchers conducted a review of patients with who had hip or limb fractures
  • They found that type 1 diabetics are the most likely to present with a broken bone
  • Type 2 patients are still a third more likely to have a fracture than non-diabetics 
  • In type 2 cases, the risk increases both with insulin use and diabetes duration

People with diabetes are up to four times more likely to break a bone in their hip or one of their limbs, a review study has found. 

Experts from found that Type 1 diabetics are the most likely to suffer a fracture — but Type 2 patients are still a third more likely to break something than non-diabetics.

Furthermore, the researchers concluded that the risk for individuals with Type 2 diabetes increases both with insulin use and the duration of their condition. 

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‘Diabetes can cause a number of well-known complications including kidney problems, loss of eyesight, problems with your feet and nerve damage,’ said paper author and osteologist Tatiane Vilaca of the University of Sheffield.

‘However, until now many people with diabetes and their doctors are unaware that they are also at greater risk of bone fractures.’

‘We need to raise awareness about the greater risk people with diabetes face to help them to prevent fractures. For example, preventing falls can reduce their risk of fracture.’

‘Fractures can be very serious, especially in older people. Hip fractures are the most severe as they cause such high disability,’ Dr Vilaca continued.

‘Around 76,000 people in the UK suffer a hip fracture every year and it is thought as many as 20 per cent of people will die within a year of the fracture.’

‘Many others don’t fully regain mobility and for many people it can cause a loss of independence.’

It is estimated that around one in 15 people in the UK has diabetes — a serious condition in which one’s blood glucose level is too high.

It comes in two forms: type 1, in which the body cannot make the hormone insulin that promotes the absorption of glucose from the blood, and type 2, where the body is unable to produce enough insulin, or where insulin does not work properly.  

'Patients with diabetes and the doctors who care for them should be aware of the increased risk of fractures,' said paper author Steven Cummings of the University of California, San Francisco.'Patients are encouraged to ask their doctors what to do about that risk, and doctors should assess the risk and consider treatment to reduce that risk'

‘Patients with diabetes and the doctors who care for them should be aware of the increased risk of fractures,’ said paper author Steven Cummings of the University of California, San Francisco. ‘Patients are encouraged to ask their doctors what to do about that risk, and doctors should assess the risk and consider treatment to reduce that risk’

‘Patients with diabetes and the doctors who care for them should be aware of the increased risk of fractures,’ said paper author Steven Cummings of the University of California, San Francisco.

‘Patients are encouraged to ask their doctors what to do about that risk, and doctors should assess the risk and consider treatment to reduce that risk.’

‘We hope that by raising awareness about the greater risk people with diabetes face, bone density and bone strength will become something that doctors assess routinely,’ added paper author Richard Eastell of the University of Sheffield.

The full findings of the study were published in the journal Bone.

In the UK about 90 per cent of diabetic adults have type 2 diabetes

Diabetes is a lifelong condition that causes a person’s blood sugar level to become too high.

There are two main types of diabetes: 

Type 1, where the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the cells that produce insulin. 

Type 2, where the body does not produce enough insulin, or the body’s cells do not react to insulin. 

Type 2 diabetes is far more common than type 1. 

In the UK, around 90% of all adults with diabetes have type 2. 

Reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes can be achieved through healthy eating, regular exercise and achieving a healthy body weight. 

The main symptoms of diabetes include: feeling very thirsty, urinating more frequently (particularly at night), feeling very tired, weight loss, and loss of muscle bulk.

Source: NHS 

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