Osteoporosis in Type 1 Women Starts After Teen Years

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Bone mineral density is lower in type 1 girls, and starts to decline sometime after the teen years.

In a study conducted at the University at Buffalo, 15 girls between the ages of 13 and 19 were evaluated. Bone mineral density and bone mineral content were taken from the spine, neck of the femur, wrist, and total body by dual energy x ray. The results were correlated with measures of glucose control and bone metabolism.

The researchers found that bone mineral density in teenage girls with diabetes was lower than in healthy control subjects. The findings were presented May 2 in San Francisco at the annual meeting of the Society for Pediatric Research.

“Osteoporosis is well described in adult women with long-standing diabetes, but there is not a lot of information on when it starts,” says Teresa Quattrin, MD, associate professor of pediatrics and lead researcher on the study. “We need to follow young women prospectively so we can pinpoint the mechanism and perhaps intervene to stop the bone loss.”

Quattrin adds that glucose control was not a predictor of poorer bone mineral density, nor was poor bone mineral density influenced by high insulin levels.

Approximately 19 percent of women with type 1 diabetes develop osteoporosis later in life.

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