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Diabetes increases risk of arthritis, osteoporosis

27 per cent more likely to suffer from back pain and 29 per cent shoulder/ neck pain

London.

Middle-aged with diabetes are at greater risk of developing arthritis and osteoporosis, in addition to increased risk to the heart, a study has found.

Researchers from the Nordsjaellands University Hospital in Denmark have found that people with diabetes are 33 per cent more likely to suffer from osteoarthritis – a type of arthritis that occurs when flexible tissues at the ends of bones wear down.

They are also 70 per cent more likely to suffer from rheumatoid arthritis – a chronic inflammatory disorder – and 29 per cent more from osteoporosis – a bone loss condition – than their diabetes-free counterparts.

Further, diabetics are 27 per cent more likely to suffer from back pain and 29 per cent more likely to have shoulder/ neck pain.

"Health care professionals should make patients with diabetes aware that regular exercise is a recognised treatment for diabetes and arthritis, and can have positive effects on both blood sugar control as well as musculoskeletal pain," said Stig Molsted from the varsity.

For the study, the team analysed the relationship between osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis with diabetes on over 109,200 people — aged 40 years or older.

People with diabetes, which was diagnosed in 9,238 (8.5 per cent) participants, tended to be older and were more often males, had higher BMI and were most likely to have osteoarthritis.

Further analyses revealed that more physically active people with diabetes have lesser risks of back pain and shoulder/neck pain.

"It’s likely that the chronic pain experienced by people with arthritis may be a barrier to exercising, which is also a risk factor for Type-2 diabetes," Molsted added.

Importantly, the researchers speculate that the strong association between rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes is likely to be the result of chronic inflammation or steroid treatment that could lead to Type 2 diabetes.

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