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In Diabetics, Good Scores on Bone Tests May Not Rule Out Risk
Date:5/31/2011

ractures, the Osteoporotic Fractures in Men Study or the Health, Aging and Body Composition study. All participants were in their 70s when their study began.

During almost 13 years of follow-up, 84 hip fractures and 262 other fractures were recorded among the 770 women with diabetes. Among 1,199 men with diabetes, 32 had hip fractures and 133 had other fractures during about eight years of follow-up, the investigators found.

The researchers noted that, among diabetics, fractures were more likely to occur even when bone density tests indicated that there was only a small risk for fracture.

"For a given T score and age, those adults with DM [diabetes mellitus] had a higher risk of fracture than those without DM, consistent with previous studies," they wrote. "Participants with DM also experienced higher fracture rates at a given FRAX score than participants without DM."

Because of this, according to the researchers, doctors should consider people with type 2 diabetes at risk for fractures even when bone density tests indicate that they don't have osteoporosis and, therefore, have a lower risk for fractures.

In addition, Schwartz said that she would start treating diabetic patients for osteoporosis if they had T scores of minus 2.

She noted that standard treatments for osteoporosis have not been studied in diabetics but that they appear to work. "In general, the treatments seem to be as effective in diabetics as in non-diabetics," she said.

Commenting on the study, Dr. Robert R. Recker, president of the National Osteoporosis Foundation, said that "a lot of people with diabetes will be at risk for fracture, and many of them don't have low bone mass."

But he noted that the reasons that someone with diabetes has a fracture risk may not be the same as for a person without diabetes. "So the same treatments may not be appropriate -- and therein lies the rub," Recker said.

He does, however, recommend calcium and vitami
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