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The study results were announced today by Astrid Kamilla Stunes and Unni Syversen of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, at ECTS 2017, the 44th European Calcified Tissue Society Congress being held in Salzburg, Austria


Dr Stunes said: “Our aim was to investigate the quality and density of bones in men with type 1 diabetes mellitus. We studied 33 men aged 20-63 with the diabetes and, for comparison, 28 healthy men of comparable age.

“Compared to the healthy men, we found, using X-ray and other tools, that men with type 1 diabetes displayed lower bone density across the whole body, together with more frequent bone disease, such as preosteoporosis and osteoporosis, at their hips. They also had a lower trabecular bone score – this is a measure of bone microarchitecture that, alongside bone density, is a good predictor of fracture risk. And their bones had significantly lower mechanical strength.

“These findings were supported by blood samples, which also confirmed that there were no significant differences between those with diabetes and the healthy men in levels of calcium, parathyroid hormone or vitamin D3, which are often associated with bone disease.”

Dr Stunes summarised: “Our findings strongly support the conclusion that there is a direct association in men between type 1 diabetes mellitus and an increased likelihood of bone fractures, which might be explained by impaired bone quality and decreased bone density.”


Further reading about the study

The study, titled “Impaired bone quality, assessed by trabecular bone score and in vivo micro indentation, in men with type 1 diabetes mellitus”, was carried out by Unni Syversen, Ida Marie Mynarek, Trudes Seselie Jahr Iversen,Kristin Matre Aasarod, Mats Peder Mosti, Kristin Matre Aasarod, Bjorn Olav Asvold and Astrid Kamilla Stunes of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim; Janne Reseland of the University of Oslo; Erik F. Eriksen of Oslo University Hospital; and Trude Basso of St. Olavs University Hospital, Trondheim.

Thirty-three men with T1DM (42.7+/-12.1 years) and 28 healthy male age-matched controls (41.8+/-12.0 years) were included in the study. BMD was measured by dual X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), applying Hologic Discovery, and spine trabecular bone score (TBS) was assessed by TBS iNsight software. Bone mechanical strength (BMS) was examined by micro indentation (Osteoprobe). Fasting blood samples were collected for analyses of glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), bone markers, calcium, parathyroid hormone (PTH) and 25-hydroxy vitamin D3 (25OH(D)).

The T1DM group displayed lower whole body BMD compared to controls (-0.46 T-score, p=0.04). Osteopenia/osteoporosis were more frequent in the T1DM group, although significantly only at the total hip (p=0.03). TBS was lower in the T1DM group (-4.3%, p=0.016). BMS was measured in subgroups (T1DM: n=18, controls: n=14), and significantly lower BMS was observed in the T1DM group (-4.8%, p=0.004). HbA1c was 8.0+/-0.8% in the T1DM group, versus 5.3+/-0.3% in controls (p less than 0.001). Lower levels of the bone resorption marker C-terminal telopeptide of type 1 collagen (0.25 (0.22-0.39) ug/L versus 0.43 (0.33-0.56) ug/L, p=0.001), and the bone formation marker osteocalcin (0.60 (0.48-1.00) nmol/L versus 1.00 (0.78-1.3) nmol/L, p=0.012) were observed in the T1DM group. There were no significant differences in calcium, PTH or 25(OH)D levels.

About ECTS 2017 (

ECTS 2017 is the 44th European Calcified Tissue Society Congress, held from 13 to 16 May 2017 in the Austrian city of Salzburg.

ECTS serves as a forum for researchers and clinicians working in the musculoskeletal field to join forces, discover and discuss the latest advances and controversies in research and in the daily care of patients.

About The European Calcified Tissue Society (

The European Calcified Tissue Society (ECTS) is the major organisation in Europe for researchers and clinicians working in the field of calcified tissues and related fields. ECTS acts as a forum for the dissemination of high quality research through its annual meeting, the European Symposium on Calcified Tissues, and through training courses and workshops.

Calcified tissues are central to a healthy skeleton and to bone disorders – such as osteoporosis, back pain and fractures – that make life a misery for countless people. Children can inherit some forms of bone diseases causing bone pain, shortness and deformed limbs.

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