Diabetes and osteoporosis

Aging Clin Exp Res. 2008 Aug;20(4):280-9. doi: 10.1007/BF03324857.


Care of patients with diabetes should include assessment of bone health. The extension of the average life expectancy of people with diabetes, which has accompanied improvements in medical care, has also increased the significance of osteoporosis. In addition to the usual causes of osteoporosis associated with aging, bone health is also compromised by diabetes. Studies on bone involvement in patients with diabetes mellitus have generated conflicting results, largely because of the pathogenetic complexity of the condition. It is now clear that patients with type 1 diabetes have lower bone mineral density (BMD) and a higher risk of fractures. Evidence is emerging that patients with type 2 diabetes who have complications are also at increased risk of certain types of osteoporotic fractures, despite having a higher BMD when compared to patients with type 1 diabetes. Although many factors, including number and type of falls, visual impairment, neuropathy, and reduced muscle strength, influence the probability of fractures, the most significant factor seems to be the strength of the bone itself. Thus, sarcopenia, a reduction in muscle mass and muscle strength, is considered one of the main determinants of bone fragility. The aim of this review is to examine the occurrence of osteoporosis in type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diabetes Mellitus / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus / metabolism*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Osteoporosis / metabolism*