Bad News for Bones
The culprit here is insulin resistance, a condition which occurs when the cells of the body no longer respond to the normal amount of insulin being secreted to move glucose into cells. This problem can be a prelude to type 2 diabetes and also seems to be bad for bones. A study from UCLA suggests that as insulin resistance doubles, bone strength drops by 10 to 14 percent. The new finding may help explain why people with type 2 diabetes have a higher risk of fractures than non-diabetics, even though their bone-mineral density is often measured as being higher than those without the disease, the researchers said. The UCLA team assessed bone density via an X-ray and then combined bone density with bone size and body height and weight to estimate bone strength in 717 people participating in a nationwide study called the Biomarker Project of the Midlife in the United States. The investigators analyzed insulin resistance by measuring levels of sugar and insulin in blood samples taken from the study participants and then correlated those results with the bone strength data. This information was then adjusted for age, sex, race, and additionally for menopause status in the women participants. The study results were presented at an Endocrine Society conference in June 2013.
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