Osteoporosis International

, Volume 21, Issue 12, pp 2067–2074 | Cite as

Association between hyperglycaemia and fracture risk in non-diabetic middle-aged and older Australians: a national, population-based prospective study (AusDiab)

  • C. Gagnon
  • D. J. Magliano
  • P. R. Ebeling
  • D. W. Dunstan
  • P. Z. Zimmet
  • J. E. Shaw
  • R. M. DalyEmail author
Original Article



The association between pre-diabetes and fracture risk remains unclear. In this large cohort of middle-aged and older Australian men and women without diabetes, elevated 2-h plasma glucose and pre-diabetes were associated with a reduced 5-year risk of low trauma and all fractures in women, independently of BMI, fasting insulin and other lifestyle factors.


We aimed to (1) examine associations between fasting and 2-h plasma glucose (FPG and 2-h PG), fasting insulin and risk of low trauma and all fractures in non-diabetic adults and (2) compare fracture risk between adults with pre-diabetes (impaired glucose tolerance or impaired fasting glucose) and those with normal glucose tolerance (NGT).


Six thousand two hundred fifty-five non-diabetic men and women aged ≥40 years with NGT (n = 4,855) and pre-diabetes (n = 1,400) were followed for 5 years in the AusDiab Study. Fractures were self-reported.


Five hundred thirty-nine participants suffered at least one fracture (368 women, 171 men), of which the majority (318) occurred after a low-energy trauma (258 women, 60 men). In women, a 2-h PG ≥7.2 mmol/L (highest quartile) was associated with a decreased risk of low trauma and all fractures independent of age and BMI [OR (95% CI) for low trauma fractures, 0.59 (0.40–0.88)], but also fasting insulin, smoking, physical activity, history of fracture, dietary calcium and alcohol intake or menopausal status. There was no effect of 2-h PG on fracture risk in men [OR (95% CI), 1.39 (0.60–3.26)] or any relationship between fracture risk and quartiles of FPG or insulin in either sex. Compared to women with NGT, those with pre-diabetes had a reduced risk of fracture [OR (95% CI) for all fractures, 0.70 (0.52–0.95); for low trauma fractures, 0.75 (0.53–1.05)].


Elevated 2-h PG levels and pre-diabetes were inversely associated with low trauma and/or all fractures in non-diabetic women, independent of BMI and fasting insulin levels.


Fractures Glycemia Insulin Pre-diabetes 



The AusDiab Study co-coordinated by the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute gratefully acknowledges the generous support given by National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC grant 233200), Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing. Abbott Australasia Pty Ltd, Alphapharm Pty Ltd, AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, City Health Centre-Diabetes Service-Canberra, Department of Health and Community Services–Northern Territory, Department of Health and Human Services–Tasmania, Department of Health–New South Wales, Department of Health–Western Australia, Department of Health–South Australia, Department of Human Services–Victoria, Diabetes Australia, Diabetes Australia Northern Territory, Eli Lilly Australia, Estate of the Late Edward Wilson, GlaxoSmithKline, Jack Brockhoff Foundation, Janssen-Cilag,, Kidney Health Australia, Marian & FH Flack Trust, Menzies Research Institute, Merck Sharp & Dohme, Novartis Pharmaceuticals, Novo Nordisk Pharmaceuticals, Pfizer Pty Ltd, Pratt Foundation, Queensland Health, Roche Diagnostics Australia, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney, Sanofi Aventis, Sanofi Synthelabo. We are enormously grateful to A. Allman, B. Atkins, S. Bennett, A. Bonney, S. Chadban, M. de Courten, M. Dalton, D. Dunstan, T. Dwyer, H. Jahangir, D. Jolley, D. McCarty, A. Meehan, N. Meinig, S. Murray, K. O’Dea, K. Polkinghorne, P. Phillips, C. Reid, A. Stewart, R. Tapp, H. Taylor, T. Whalen and F. Wilson for their invaluable contribution to the setup and field activities of AusDiab. Dr. Claudia Gagnon is supported by a scholarship from the Université Laval, Québec, Canada. Associate Professor Robin Daly is supported by a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Career Development Award (ID 425849). Professor David Dunstan is supported by a Victorian Health Promotion Foundation Public Health Research Fellowship.

Conflicts of interest



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Copyright information

© International Osteoporosis Foundation and National Osteoporosis Foundation 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Gagnon
    • 1
  • D. J. Magliano
    • 2
  • P. R. Ebeling
    • 1
  • D. W. Dunstan
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • P. Z. Zimmet
    • 2
  • J. E. Shaw
    • 2
  • R. M. Daly
    • 1
    • 5
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of MedicineUniversity of Melbourne, Western HospitalMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes InstituteMelbourneAustralia
  3. 3.Cancer Prevention Research Centre, School of Population HealthUniversity of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia
  4. 4.Vario Health InstituteEdith Cowan UniversityPerthAustralia
  5. 5.Department of MedicineThe University of Melbourne, Western HospitalMelbourneAustralia

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