Diabetes May Raise Risk of Arthritis and Osteoporosis, Study Finds

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Diabetes May Raise Risk of Arthritis and Osteoporosis, Study Finds

The good news is exercise can offer positive effects on blood sugar levels and musculoskeletal pain.

Chronically high blood sugar can take a serious toll on the bones and joints.
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October 4, 2018

Several musculoskeletal disorders have been linked to diabetes in the past. Now a large new study, presented October 3, 2018, at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) Annual Meeting in Berlin, Germany, has found that diabetes is tied to a greater likelihood of having osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoporosis.

“The take-home message is that the odds of having pains from the skeletal system and a rheumatic disease are elevated if you have diabetes,” says study author Stig Molsted, PhD, senior researcher from Nordsjaellands University Hospital in Hillerød, Denmark.

A study published in November 2015 in the journal BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders showed that people with diabetes had more musculoskeletal pain, and visited the doctor for this pain, more than people without diabetes over a 10-year period.

For the new study, Dr. Molsted and his colleagues reviewed self-reported health data on 109,200 individuals in Denmark. Of those, 9,238 (or about 8.5 percent) had diabetes. Because the investigation included only people over 40, their diabetes was most likely type 2 diabetes, said the study authors.

Their analysis showed that compared with people without diabetes, those with diabetes were 70 percent more likely to have rheumatoid arthritis, 33 percent more likely to suffer from osteoarthritis, and 29 percent more likely to have osteoporosis.

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