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Study Shows Women with Type 2 Diabetes Have a Greater Risk of Fractures

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Patients with type 2 diabetes are proned to bone fractures.

Women who have had type 2 diabetes for a decade or more have a new medical risk to worry about: an increased risk of major fractures, including hip fractures. That’s according to the results of a study conducted by Canadian researchers who reviewed the medical records of women enrolled in the Manitoba Bone Density Program – a medical registry that assesses and tracks osteoporosis and other health conditions in women throughout the region. Researches noted that the risk for fractures was significantly increased, even when accounting for other factors like other existing diseases, use of insulin and osteoporosis medications.

Of course, the link between fractures and osteoporosis is no surprise; osteoporosis literally means “porous bones,” and people with this condition (which primarily affects women) are far more likely to experience significant fractures in the hips, spines, thighs and elsewhere. Research has also shown having diabetes increases the risk of major osteoporitic fractures by 20% to 30% and the risk of hip fractures by an alarming 70% to 80%.

Although, this study’s researchers noted that until now, the duration of diabetes and its effect on osteoporitic fractures was not well understood and was poorly predicted by the standard assessment tool used to measure fracture risk assessment in patients with long-term diabetes (called the FRAX tool). At best, results of studies that looked at the correlation of diabetes duration and fracture risk have been inconsistent and confusing, the authors added. The aim of this study was to focus solely on that correlation in efforts to provide improved guidance for assessment and treatment.

“The clinical implications of this study are that FRAX underestimates risk, especially for hip fractures, in patients with long duration of diabetes, and raises the question of whether type 2 diabetes of long duration should be considered a red flag for greater attention,” the authors noted.

Understanding Your Risks

Patients with diabetes are at an increased risk for many other complications in addition to large osteoporitic fractures. Diabetes affects the circulatory and nervous systems as well, increasing the risk for potentially serious foot ulcers that significantly increase the risk for foot and leg amputations. Dr. Felix Sigal is a leading researcher in diabetic foot issues and an active participant in clinical trials evaluating innovative approaches to foot care among women and men with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. To find out what you can do to decrease your risk of diabetes complications, call the Foot & Ankle Clinic and schedule an evaluation and consultation today.


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