People living with diabetes may be at greater risk of bone fractures, according to researchers at the University of Sheffield in the UK.


The systematic review and meta-analysis of 49 studies including more than 17.5 million participants found that people with diabetes were at increased risk of hip and non-vertebral fractures, compared to people without diabetes.

Risks were greatest among people with type 1 diabetes, with this population almost five times more likely to experience a hip fracture, and almost twice as likely to experience non-vertebral fracture compared to people without diabetes.

People with type 2 diabetes had more than 50% greater likelihood of sustaining a hip fracture and 25% increased risk of non-vertebral fractures compared to people without diabetes.

For older people, the increased risk of a fracture as a result of fall is significant and important to prevent, due to increased recovery time, and for some, fractures can result in permanent reductions in  mobility and decreased independence.

Diabetes has a number of widely-known complications, including loss of vision, foot damage, kidney damage and nerve damage.  Until now, bone health and the increased risk of bone fractures was not commonly identified as a complication of diabetes.

Raising awareness of the increased risk of bone fractures among people living with diabetes and ensuring that regular bone density and strength testing is carried out may reduce the risk of bone fractures among people with diabetes in the future.

(Vilaca et al., 2020)

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