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Diabetics Have Much Greater Risk of Hip Fracture

Diabetes sufferers have higher-than-normal levels of blood sugar because their body is unable to properly produce or utilize insulin, a hormone that helps remove excess sugar from the blood.

Symptoms of diabetes include excessive thirst; frequent urination; weight loss; weariness; blurred vision; and recurrent infections.

A recent study in Diabetes Care sought to determine whether postmenopausal diabetic women were more likely to experience hip fractures than women without diabetes. A mail survey of over 30,000 women between the ages of 55 and 69 contained questions regarding diabetes status and risk factors; after 11 years, hip fracture incidents were recorded from a follow-up survey. Women were classified with type 1 diabetes if they developed the disorder at age 30 or younger, and with type 2 diabetes, the most common form, if developed after age 30.

Women with type 1 diabetes were over 12 times more likely to suffer hip fracture than women without diabetes; type 2 diabetics were nearly twice as likely to experience hip fracture. Other factors associated with higher hip-fracture rates were longer time periods since diagnosis, use of insulin, and use of diabetes medications.

If you suffer from diabetes, be sure to take precautions to avoid falling. Although you may require insulin and medication for the disorder, follow your nutritional guidelines as strictly as possible to minimize blood sugar extremes. Although a family history of the disease is the primary cause of diabetes, obesity, smoking, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure can all accelerate the development of this condition.


Nicodemus KK, Folsom AR. Type 1 and type 2 diabetes and incident hip fractures in postmenopausal women. Diabetes Care 2001: 24, pp.1192-1197.