The lumbar bone mineral density is affected by long-term poor metabolic control in adolescents with type 1 diabetes mellitus

Horm Res. 2002;58(6):266-72. doi: 10.1159/000066441.


Aim: To analyze whether bone mineral density (BMD) and bone resorption status are influenced by long-term metabolic control and duration of disease in adolescents with long-standing type 1 diabetes mellitus.

Methods: Twenty-seven adolescents (age 13.1 +/- 1.7 years, duration of diabetes 6.9 +/- 3.0 years) were studied. The BMD, expressed as z score, was measured at the lumbar spine (L1-L4) using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, while the urinary excretion of total deoxypiridinoline (Dpyd), a marker of bone resorption, was measured by immunoassay and was corrected by creatinine (Cr). Linear and multivariate correlations between lumbar BMD z score or Dpyd/Cr excretion and age and disease variables [short-term (Hb A(1c latest)) or long-term (Hb A(1c whole duration)) metabolic control, duration, 'diabetes impact index' (mean Hb A(1c whole duration) x duration of disease in months)] were sought.

Results: In diabetic subjects the mean BMD z score was -0.44 +/- (SD) 1.02 (95% CI: -0.03; -0.84), and the Dpyd/Cr excretion was not increased. A negative correlation was found between lumbar BMD z score and age (r -0.59; p = 0.001), duration (r -0.39; p = 0.04), and the diabetes impact index (r -0.4; p = 0.04). The Dpyd/Cr ratio correlated negatively with age (r -0.40; p = 0.04) and positively with height velocity (r 0.42; p = 0.04). By using multiple linear regression, age showed a significant inverse correlation with lumbar BMD z score (beta = -0.39; p = 0.0005). A negative correlation was found between lumbar BMD z score and Hb A(1c whole duration) (beta = -0.40; p = 0.02) or diabetes impact index (beta = -0.001; p = 0.01).

Conclusions: Poor metabolic control may expose adolescents with long-standing type 1 diabetes to the risk of developing osteopenia in adult age. Optimization of metabolic control in growing diabetic children may prevent osteoporosis in later life.

MeSH terms

  • Absorptiometry, Photon
  • Adolescent
  • Biomarkers
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Body Height
  • Body Weight
  • Bone Density / physiology*
  • Bone Resorption / etiology
  • Bone Resorption / urine
  • Child
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / drug therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / metabolism*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / pathology
  • Female
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pyridinium Compounds / urine
  • Spine / diagnostic imaging
  • Spine / pathology*


  • Biomarkers
  • Blood Glucose
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Pyridinium Compounds