Source: Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice
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Are broken hips more common in people with type 1 diabetes?
In a nutshell
This study investigated the risk of hip fractures in people with type 1 diabetes (T1D) and the factors that contributed to this risk. It was determined that people with T1D have a higher risk of hip fractures. The risk was higher for people who were older, who had depressive symptoms, or who were taking medications for osteoporosis.
Diabetes is associated with an increased risk of fractures. This risk depends on the type of diabetes. The increased risk may be due to decreased bone density. Other factors, like nerve damage, visual impairment, and hypoglycemia (dangerously low blood glucose) are common in T1D. These factors may increase the risk of falls, and hence of fractures.
Methods & findings
This study aimed to determine the exact increase in the risk of hip fractures (broken hips) in people with T1D.
In this study 121 adults with T1D were compared to 484 adults without diabetes. At the start of the study the participants with T1D were given a questionnaire and underwent a physical examination, blood tests, and urine tests. They were then followed for an average of 14.5 years. The number of times a participant was hospitalized for a hip fracture was noted.
During the 14.5 years, 8 participants with T1D (6.6%) were hospitalized for a hip fracture. Only 6 (1.2%) of the participants without diabetes were hospitalized for a hip fracture. People with T1D were 7.11 times more likely to be hospitalized for a hip fracture, after age and gender were taken into account.
People with T1D were more likely to have a hip fracture if they were older, taking medications for osteoporosis, had depressive symptoms, had high blood pressure, had high cholesterol, or had kidney damage. However, after age and body mass index (measure of body fat that takes weight and height into account) were taken into account, only age, medications for osteoporosis, and depressive symptoms were found to have a significant impact.
93 of the participants with T1D were also compared to 93 adults with type 2 diabetes (T2D). After taking age and gender into account, people with T1D were 5.32 times more likely to have a hip fracture than people with T2D.
The bottom line
The study concluded that hip fractures are more common in people with T1D than in people without diabetes or people with T2D. Age, osteoporosis medications, and depressive symptoms contributed to this risk.
The fine print
Only a small number of participants in this study had hip fractures. This may have made finding the factors that influenced the increased risk of hip fractures difficult.
Discuss the risks of hip fractures with your physician.
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