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In elderly men, hyperglycemia increases the risk of fractures


According to Japanese researchers, elderly men with hyperglycemia have an elevated risk of osteoporosis fracture.

In an article published on the online site of the journal Bone, Masayuki Iki of Kindai University School of Medicine, Osaka, reported the results of a study of a large sample of elderly community-dwelling residents, in which those with type 2 diabetes mellitus showed a higher likelihood of incurring fractures than their healthy peers.

Masayuki and his colleagues enrolled men aged 65 and older and followed them with regular follow-ups for five years. After excluding those with a history of type 1 diabetes and those who had been on thiazolidinedione, an antidiabetic drug, the team analyzed data on 1,951 subjects: of these, 200 had type 2 diabetes diagnosed at the start of the trial.

Osteoporotic fracture has been defined as a radiographically confirmed fracture occurring at any skeletal site except the head, fingers, lower thigh, and foot, and occurring in the absence of the application of an external force that may have caused the injury.

Compared with participants who had normal blood glucose values, those with hyperglycemia such as to configure the presence of diabetes (glycated hemoglobin of 6.5% or higher) had a significantly higher risk of osteoporotic fracture, with a hazard ratio that remained at 2.76 (thus nearly tripling) even after excluding confounding factors such as insulin use.

An elevated risk of osteoporotic fracture of the spine, hip, proximal humerus, or distal radius was also observed in participants who fell into a pre-diabetic category (with glycated hemoglobin of 5.7 percent or higher but less than 6.5 percent).

In contrast to previous studies, the relationship between high glycemic levels and fractures appeared to be linear: as the former increased, the risk of fracture increased in a directly proportional manner.


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