Type 2 Diabetes in Seniors Increases Risk of Bone Fractures

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Type 2 Diabetes in Seniors Increases Risk of Bone Fractures

September 21
18:29 2017

Growing up, I’ve broken more than my share of bones. My first broken bone was my right arm when I was in first grade. I was walking along the top of fence and fell off. A few years later, I feel nearly 30-feet out of a tree while building a tree house. I tried catching a branch on my way down. The branch helped break my fall, but it also broke my collarbone and three ribs. In junior high school, someone shoved me from behind and my foot slammed against a metal pole cracking a toe just inside the body of the foot. The next day at school, a classmate didn’t believe I had a cracked toe, so he stomped on it with his heel. The toe was now completely broken. It hurt so bad, that I hit the kid as hard as I could. In hitting him, I broke my middle and ring finger on my right hand. I also broke the kids lower jawbone. During my years in retail, I helped arrest several shoplifters who fought back, hitting, kicking, scratching and trying to bite and I ended up hitting them, again breaking the same two fingers. While shoeing a horse, the horse kicked me, cracking my sternum and two ribs. Another time, a horse stepped on my foot and broke a toe. I’ve had several other broken fingers and broken toes. At one time, I counted a total of 26-27 broken or fractured bones, but there may be a few more.

One would think that I have thin fragile bones, but the exact opposite is true. Every doctor tells me that my bones are very thick, dense and strong. It’s just that I have played and lived hard.

Due to not controlling my type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, I developed vertigo a little over a year ago. Since then, I’ve fallen several times and fortunately didn’t break anything. My vertigo is better, but not gone and I still problems with balance at times.

However, according to a recent study, I need to be more careful in the future about falling due to my vertigo. The study found that seniors with type 2 diabetes have a higher risk of fracturing bones.

“Though seniors with type 2 diabetes (T2D) tend to have normal or higher bone density than their peers, researchers have found that they are more likely to succumb to fractures than seniors without T2D. In a new study published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, researchers from Hebrew SeniorLife’s Institute for Aging Research found older adults with type 2 diabetes had deficits in cortical bone—the dense outer surface of bone that forms a protective layer around the internal cavity— compared to non-diabetics. The findings suggest that the microarchitecture of cortical bone may be altered in seniors with T2D and thereby place them at increased risk of fracture…”

“Osteoporotic fractures are a significant public health problem that can lead to disability, decreased quality of life, and even death – not to mention significant health care costs. Risk of fracture is even greater in adults with T2D, including a 40 – 50% increased risk of hip fracture – the most serious of osteoporotic fractures.”

“‘Fracture in older adults with type 2 diabetes is a highly important public health problem and will only increase with the aging of the population and growing epidemic of diabetes. Our findings identify skeletal deficits that may contribute to excess fracture risk in older adults with diabetes and may ultimately lead to new approaches to improve prevention and treatment,’ said Dr. Elizabeth Samelson, lead author of the study.”

They warn those of us with type 2 diabetes about having an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness and foot amputations. Now we learn about having an increased risk of bone fractures, even if we do have thick, dense and strong bones. I refuse to live in a bubble and don’t recommend that for anyone, but I guess we all need to be a little bit more careful about controlling our diabetes and not falling.

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