Researchers including two Indian-origin scientists have confirmed that osteoporosis could be caused by type 2 diabetes.
Senior author Sundeep Khosla, MD, Mayo Clinic endocrinologist, said that this is the first demonstration - using direct measurement of bone strength in the body - of compromised bone material in patients with type 2 diabetes.
He said that clearly, the skeleton needs to be recognized as another important target of diabetes complications.
The Mayo researchers validated that assumption in a clinical study of 60 postmenopausal women, 30 of whom had type 2 diabetes. Using a new tool (OsteoProbe), the researchers performed micro indentation testing of the tibia (actually causing a microscopic crack) to measure bone material strength.
Compared to the control group of women, aged 50 to 80, the group with type 2 diabetes had significantly lower bone material strength.
There was no difference between the microarchitecture of the bone or bone density between the two groups.
The study showed that diabetic women with lower bone material strength had also experienced higher levels of hyperglycemia over the previous 10 years, suggesting potential detrimental effects of poor glucose control on bone quality.
The resounding message: Conventional measurements underestimated the risk of fracture among patients with type 2 diabetes and loss of bone material strength, or bone quality, is a clear, downstream consequence of the disease.
Co-author Shreyasee Amin, M.D, said that the new technology may help in studying other conditions where fractures occur at higher than expected bone density.
The study has been published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research.