Epidemiology of Skeletal Health in Type 1 Diabetes

Curr Osteoporos Rep. 2016 Dec;14(6):327-336. doi: 10.1007/s11914-016-0333-0.


The skeleton is adversely affected by type 1 diabetes (T1D). Patients with T1D of both sexes have an increased risk of fracture that begins in childhood and extends across the entire lifespan. T1D is characterized by mild to modest deficits in bone density, structure, and microarchitecture. Current evidence suggests that the observed bone deficits in T1D are the result of impaired bone formation rather than increased bone resorption. There is emerging data that bone quality is impaired in T1D, which may explain the findings that fracture risk is elevated out of proportion to the degree of bone mineral deficit. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge regarding the epidemiology of skeletal health in T1D. Given the high individual and societal burden of osteoporotic fracture, there is an urgent need to better understand the etiology of T1D-related bone disease so that clinical strategies to prevent fracture can be developed.

Keywords: Bone mineral density; Epidemiology; Fracture; Osteoporosis; Type 1 diabetes.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Absorptiometry, Photon
  • Bone Density
  • Bone Diseases, Metabolic / epidemiology
  • Bone Remodeling
  • Bone and Bones / diagnostic imaging
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / epidemiology*
  • Fractures, Bone / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Osteoporosis / epidemiology*
  • Osteoporotic Fractures / epidemiology