Diabetes linked with higher risk of arthritis and osteoporosis


  • Mary Corcoran
  • Univadis Medical News
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Diabetes could be linked with a greater risk of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoporosis, according to a new study presented at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) Annual Meeting this week. 

The study examined data on 109,218 individuals aged 40 and older from the 2013 Danish National Health Survey. 

In individuals with and without diabetes, osteoarthritis was reported by 43.5 and 29.4 per cent, respectively, while osteoporosis was reported by 6.4 and 4.8 per cent, and RA was reported by 15.1 and 7.6 per cent (all P<.0001>

Diabetes was associated with osteoarthritis (odds ratio [OR] 1.33; 95% CI 1.25-1.41), osteoporosis (OR 1.29; 95% CI 1.13-1.46) and RA (OR 1.71; 95% CI 1.57-1.85). Diabetes was also associated with back pain (OR 1.27; 95% CI 1.21-1.34) and shoulder/neck pain (OR 1.29; 95% CI 1.22-1.36).

In a subgroup analysis of participants with DM, being physically active was inversely associated with back pain (OR 0.65; 95% CI 0.57-0.73) and shoulder/neck pain (OR 0.76; 95% CI 0.68-0.86).

The authors said pain may have a negative impact on levels of physical activity in individuals with diabetes and healthcare professionals should remember to inform patients with diabetes that musculoskeletal pain and arthritis not are contraindications to exercise training.