Osteoporosis International

, Volume 20, Issue 6, pp 923–933 | Cite as

Poor glycemic control is associated with low BMD detected in premenopausal women with type 1 diabetes

  • K. K. DanielsonEmail author
  • M. E. Elliott
  • T. LeCaire
  • N. Binkley
  • M. Palta
Original Article



The etiology of bone fragility in individuals with type 1 diabetes is unknown. This study demonstrated that bone turnover favors resorption and that poor glycemic control is associated with low bone mineral density (BMD) and low bone turnover, in premenopausal women with type 1 diabetes. The results could inform future interventions.


Low BMD and fracture may be complications of type 1 diabetes. We sought to determine the roles of bone turnover and glycemic control in the etiology of low BMD.


Premenopausal women from the Wisconsin Diabetes Registry Study and matched controls were compared (n = 75 pairs). Heel and forearm BMD were measured, and hip and spine BMD were measured in a subset. Markers of bone formation (osteocalcin) and resorption (NTx), and glycemic control (HbA1c) were determined.


Age ranged from 18 to 50 years with a mean of 28, and 97% were Non-Hispanic white. Among women with diabetes, mean disease duration was 16 years and current HbA1c was 8%. Compared to controls, women with diabetes had a high prevalence of previous fracture (37% vs. 24%) and low BMD for age (heel or forearm: 49% vs. 31%), low heel and forearm BMD, and low osteocalcin levels. Levels of NTx were similar, suggesting uncoupled turnover favoring resorption. Poor glycemic control was associated with low BMD at all bone sites except the spine, and with low osteocalcin and NTx levels.


Optimal glycemic control may prevent low BMD and altered bone turnover in type 1 diabetes, and decrease fracture risk.


Bone mineral density Bone turnover Diabetes mellitus Type 1 Glycemic control Premenopausal 



American Diabetes Association grant 1-05-CR-35, National Institutes of Health grant DK036904. We gratefully acknowledge the study participants and staff of the Wisconsin Women & Diabetes Study, Wisconsin Diabetes Registry Study, and Osteoporosis Clinic Research Program.

Conflicts of interest



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Copyright information

© International Osteoporosis Foundation and National Osteoporosis Foundation 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. K. Danielson
    • 1
    • 6
    Email author
  • M. E. Elliott
    • 2
  • T. LeCaire
    • 3
  • N. Binkley
    • 4
  • M. Palta
    • 3
    • 5
  1. 1.Institute for Endocrine Discovery and Clinical CareUniversity of ChicagoChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Pharmacy Practice DivisionUniversity of Wisconsin—MadisonMadisonUSA
  3. 3.Department of Population Health SciencesUniversity of Wisconsin—MadisonMadisonUSA
  4. 4.Department of MedicineUniversity of Wisconsin—MadisonMadisonUSA
  5. 5.Department of Biostatistics and Medical InformaticsUniversity of Wisconsin—MadisonMadisonUSA
  6. 6.ChicagoUSA

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