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Physiother Can. 2011 Winter;63(1):8-20. doi: 10.3138/ptc.2010-23bh. Epub 2011 Jan 20.

Bone health and type 2 diabetes mellitus: a systematic review.

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  • 1Erin Gorman, BHK: Centre for Hip Health and Mobility and Department of Family Practice, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia.



To systematically review the literature related to bone health in older adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM).


We conducted a systematic review of the literature from January 2005 until February 2010, using keywords related to T2DM and bone-health imaging technology in older adults (aged ≥60 years) to search PubMed, OVID MEDLINE, Ageline, CINAHL, Embase, and PsycINFO.


We found a total of 13 studies that met the inclusion criteria for this review. The majority of the studies used dual X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) and showed either higher or similar areal bone mineral density (aBMD) for older adults with T2DM relative to healthy controls. Studies using more advanced imaging suggested that there may be differences in bone geometry between older adults with and without T2DM.


Older adults with T2DM have similar or higher aBMD at the hip relative to older adults without T2DM, despite previous literature reporting an increased risk of low-trauma fractures. Recent studies with advanced imaging have suggested that there may be differences in bone geometry between older adults with T2DM and those without. Health professionals, especially physiotherapists, should be aware of the increased risk and include assessment of fall risk factors and exercise prescription for fall prevention for older adults with T2DM.


bone-mineral density; older adults; systematic review; type 2 diabetes mellitus

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