A Review of the Mechanisms, Diagnosis and Preventative Treatment of Osteoporotic Fragility Fractures in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

Robert Meertens, William David Strain, Karen M. Knapp


The primary association of both type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and fragility fractures with age has become cause for concern in the developed world, with T2DM now considered an independent risk factor for an increased risk of fragility fracture. The increased susceptibility to fragility fracture associated with T2DM has wide ranging and increasing socioeconomic, morbidity and mortality effects. As the incidence of T2DM increases, understanding the mechanisms behind why T2DM is a causative risk factor to decreased bone health is an important step. These may be split into two broad categories: those that involve an increased risk of falling, and those mechanisms that make fragility fracture after falling more likely due to detrimental changes to bone strength. The latter is not definitively understood making diagnosis in T2DM populations difficult. Current diagnostic methods do not sufficiently account for the unique endocrinological effects of T2DM on bone. New markers for identifying fragility fracture risk in patients with T2DM are required to overcome the paradoxical increase in bone mineral density (BMD) in these populations, and the shortcomings of predictive algorithms and dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) in identifying fracture risk in T2DM populations. Earlier identification of patients with T2DM who are at risk of fragility fracture is important, as these patients are not as responsive to current preventative medical interventions as those without T2DM, although there are also adoptive lifestyle changes that can help.

J Endocrinol Metab. 2015;5(1-2):157-162
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.14740/jem253w


Diabetes; Osteoporosis; Fracture; Ageing population

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