Osteoporosis: An Under-appreciated Complication of Diabetes


In Brief

Care of patients with diabetes should include an assessment of bone health. It is now clear that patients with type 1 diabetes have lower bone mineral density (BMD) and higher risk of fractures. Evidence is accumulating that patients with type 2 diabetes who have complications are also at increased risk of certain types of osteoporotic fractures despite having a higher BMD when compared to patients with type 1 diabetes. Therapeutic interventions are key to preventing fractures, both by improving bone density and decreasing the risk for falls.


  • Sue A. Brown, MD, and Julie L. Sharpless, MD, are assistant professors of medicine in the Division of Endocrinology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

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