Diabetes, bone and glucose-lowering agents: clinical outcomes
Author: Ann V. Schwartz
Publisher: Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Older adults with diabetes are at higher risk of fracture and of complications resulting from a fracture. Hence, fracture risk reduction is an important goal in diabetes management. This review is one of a pair discussing the relationship between diabetes, bone and glucose-lowering agents; an accompanying review is provided in this issue of Diabetologia by Beata Lecka-Czernik (DOI 10.1007/s00125-017-4269-4). Specifically, this review discusses the challenges of accurate fracture risk assessment in diabetes. Standard tools for risk assessment can be used to predict fracture but clinicians need to be aware of the tendency for the bone mineral density T-score and the fracture risk assessment tool (FRAX) to underestimate risk in those with diabetes. Diabetes duration, complications and poor glycaemic control are useful clinical markers of increased fracture risk. Glucose-lowering agents may also affect fracture risk, independent of their effects on glycaemic control, as seen with the negative skeletal effects of the thiazolidinediones; in this review, the potential effects of glucose-lowering medications on fracture risk are discussed. Finally, the current understanding of effective fracture prevention in older adults with diabetes is reviewed.