Early-onset type 1 diabetes may influence bone quality in women

Women with type 1 diabetes diagnosed in childhood are more likely to have impaired bone quality in adulthood when compared with similar women diagnosed after age 20 years, further increasing their risk for fracture, according to findings from a cross-sectional study published in Bone.

“The first 20 years of growth is very important for bone health as bone mass and mineral accumulation achieves its peak during this time,” Viral Shah, MD, assistant professor of medicine and pediatrics at the Barbara Davis Center for Diabetes and the School of Medicine at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, told Endocrine Today. “Therefore, it is possible that hyperglycemia due to type 1 diabetes during the first 20 years may have detrimental effects on bone accrual leading to compromised bone geometry and quality.”

Shah and colleagues analyzed data from 24 postmenopausal women with type 1 diabetes (mean age, 61 years; mean diabetes duration, 41.7 years) and 22 age-, sex- and BMI-matched controls without diabetes. Researchers measured areal bone mineral density at the lumbar spine, hip and distal radius via DXA and assessed bone mass, geometry and estimated bone strength at the distal and shaft of the nondominant radius and tibia using peripheral quantitative CT. Women with type 1 diabetes were stratified by early-onset (diagnosis at or before age 20 years) and late-onset (onset after age 20 years) disease.

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