According to Dr. Mohsen Janghorbani from Isfahan University of Medical Sciences in Iran 'Increased risk of fracture has not traditionally been considered a consequence of diabetes mellitus. However, this study, as well as several other observational studies, has demonstrated that individuals with type 1 and type 2 diabetes are at increased risk of hip fracture and fall, despite higher weight than non diabetic control individuals.'
The research is based on data from 109,983 women aged 34 to 59 years in 1980 who were followed through 2002. These women who participated in the Nurses' Health Study, were asked about their history and treatment of diabetes and other potential risk factors for hip fracture.
Janghorbani and colleagues at Harvard University, Boston found that during the study period, 1,398 women fractured a hip. The results of the survey have been published in the July issue of Diabetes Care.
The researchers concluded that the risk of fracture was seven times higher in women with type 1 diabetes and almost twice as high in those with type 2 diabetes compared to nondiabetic women.
Further, it was found that on adjusting the data for the effects of weight, physical activity, smoking, postmenopausal hormone use, menopausal status, as well as daily intake of calcium, vitamin D, and protein, the risk of hip fracture was seen to be over six times higher in women with type 1 diabetes and over two-times higher in women with type 2 diabetes.
While the mechanisms involved in these negative effects on fracture risk in diabetes were not entirely understood it was noted that the risk of hip fracture increased with longer duration of type 2 diabetes. For instance it was found that having type 2 diabetes for 12 or more years also was associated with a three-times higher risk of hip fracture, compared to those with no diabetes.
Insulin treatment also appeared to increase the risk of hip fracture.
As Janghorbani concluded, "the results of this study highlight the need for fracture and fall prevention strategies in patients with diabetes."