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Diabetes Care. 2006 Feb;29(2):306-11.

Middle-aged premenopausal women with type 1 diabetes have lower bone mineral density and calcaneal quantitative ultrasound than nondiabetic women.

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  • 1Department of Epidemiology, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, 130 North Bellefield Ave., Room 519, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA.



To determine whether middle-aged premenopausal women with type 1 diabetes had more self-reported fractures and lower bone mineral density (BMD) compared with nondiabetic women.


Participants were premenopausal women aged 35-55 years with type 1 diabetes (n = 67; 32.2 +/- 5.3 years duration) and without diabetes (n = 237). Total hip, femoral neck, whole-body, and spine BMD were measured by dual X-ray absorptiometry. Calcaneal broadband ultrasound attenuation (BUA) was assessed with quantitative ultrasound.


Women with type 1 diabetes were more likely to report a fracture after age 20 years compared with nondiabetic women (33.3 vs. 22.6%; age-adjusted odds ratio 1.89 [95% CI 1.02-3.49]). Type 1 diabetes was associated with lower total hip BMD (0.890 vs. 0.961 g/cm2; P < 0.001), femoral neck BMD (0.797 vs. 0.847 g/cm2; P = 0.001), whole-body BMD (1.132 vs. 1.165 g/cm2; P < 0.01), and lower calcaneal BUA (71.6 vs. 84.9 dB/MHz; P < 0.001) after multivariate adjustment. BMD was 3-8% lower in type 1 diabetic compared with control women and calcaneal BUA was 15% lower. Spine BMD and biomarkers of bone remodeling were not significantly different between groups. In the type 1 diabetic women, reduced monofilament detection and blindness were both associated with lower BMD.


Lower BMD in premenopausal women with type 1 diabetes may substantially increase their risk of developing osteoporosis after menopause. Type 1 diabetic women should be targeted for osteoporosis screening and possible fracture prevention as they transition through menopause.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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