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Diabetic teens may have weaker bones

Young people with type 1 diabetes may have delayed bone development despite normal growth and maturity.

Diabetic teens may have weaker bones

Young people with type 1 diabetes may have delayed bone development despite normal growth and maturity.Puberty is a critical time for additional bone mineral to be deposited into the skeleton. This additional mineral deposition minimizes the development of osteoporosis in life later.Researchers from the University of Utah, Salt Lake City found that children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes mellitus are at risk for decreased bone mass.
The investigators studied 42 diabetics between 12 and 18 years of age and compared them with 199 healthy subjects.Body size and maturity were similar between groups. However, diabetics had lower tibia, spine and whole body bone characteristics, but greater muscle mass and lower bone mineral content.Annual gains in bone mineral content were lower in diabetics, and this was related to poorer control of blood glucose levels. However, whole body muscle mass was greater.Diabetics had 8.5 per cent less body bone mineral content to muscle mass, suggesting that bone mineral deposition was not adequately adapted to muscle gains.The findings suggest that small but chronic alterations in bone mineral acquisition associated with high blood sugar levels may prevent adolescents with type 1 diabetes from achieving optimal bone mass and strength.Long-term studies are needed to determine whether there is an increased risk of osteoporosis in later life for individuals with type 1 diabetes and poor glucose control during pubertal growth.
Journal of Pediatrics,
December 2004
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