Large Study Links Diabetes to OA, OP, and RA

A new study found a significant association between diabetes (DM) and osteoarthritis (OA), osteoporosis (OP), and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). 

The study included self-reported data on 109,218 patients (age ≥ 40 years old) found in the Danish National Health Survey 2013; 9,238 (8.5%) reported DM. Among patients with DM compared to those without (n = 99,980), OA was reported by 43.5% versus 29.4% (< 0.0001), OP by 6.4% versus 4.8% (< 0.0001), and RA by 15.1% versus 7.6% (< 0.0001), respectively. For patients with and without DM, back pain was reported by 60.6% versus 51.4% (< 0.0001), and shoulder/neck pain by 56.0% versus 51.5% (< 0.0001), respectively. Researchers found an association between DM and OA (OR 1.33 [95% CI 1.25-1.41]), OP (1.29 [1.13-1.46]), and RA (1.71 [1.57-1.85]). DM patients were 27% more likely to report back pain and 29% more likely to report shoulder pain than patients without DM. 

“The link between diabetes and RA may be a result of the chronic inflammation that is present in the two diseases,” the researchers hypothesized. “Another hypothesis of the association between DM and RA could be linked to medication. Whilst steroids are used in the treatment of RA, steroids also increases the risk of the development of type 2 diabetes.” 

The findings were presented at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) Annual Meeting. 

Researchers also found that physically active DM patients had a lower risk of back and shoulder/neck pain. 

The study authors concluded, “Health care professionals should remember to inform patients with DM, that musculoskeletal pain and arthritis not are contra-indications to exercise training. Thus, as exercise training is a recognized element in the treatment of DM and arthritis, it may have positive effects on glycemic control and musculoskeletal pain at the same time.” 

Prevalence of diagnosed type 1 and type 2 diabetes among US adults in 2016 and 2017: population- based study 

Whole Grains Tied to Decrease in Type 2 Diabetes 

Executive function is associated with diabetes-specific disordered eating in young adults with type 1 diabetes 

Sources: EASD, Medical News Today