Bone Health in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Treated by Roux-En-Y Gastric Bypass and the Role of Diabetes Remission



Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) has been associated with negative effects on bone. Whether this association is affected by pre-surgical type 2 diabetes (T2D) and surgically induced diabetes remission is unknown.


In this cross-sectional, matched cohort study 6 years after RYGB, we investigated bone health in 96 individuals with body mass index (BMI) > 35 kg/m2 and T2D (stratified on current diabetes status) treated by RYGB 6 years earlier compared with 49 non-operated individuals with T2D matched with respect to sex, age, and current BMI. Main outcome measures were areal and volumetric bone mineral density (aBMD and vBMD), bone turnover, and odds ratio of osteoporosis/osteopenia.


The RYGB group had lower hip (0.916 vs 1.010 g/cm2, p < 0.001), forearm (0.497 g/cm2 vs 0.554 g/cm2, p < 0.001) aBMD, (269.63 mg/cm3 vs 306.07 mg/cm3, p < 0.001) tibial, and radial (238.57 mg/cm3 vs 278.14 mg/cm3, p < 0.0001) vBMD than the control group. Relative to the control group, c-terminal cross-linked telopeptide, procollagen type I amino-terminal propeptide, and osteocalcin were 75%, 41%, and 72% higher in the RYGB group, respectively (all p < 0.001). Odds ratio for osteopenia/osteoporosis in operated individuals was 2.21 (95% CI 1.06; 4.79, p = 0.05). Overall, stratified analysis on current diabetes status did not alter these outcomes.


Individuals with T2D treated by RYGB, compared to individuals with T2D of similar age and body composition not treated by RYGB, have lower BMD, lower bone strength, and increased levels of several bone turnover markers. Bone health was not associated with current diabetes status in the RYGB group.

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The authors would like to thank the staff at our outpatient clinic for help in recruiting participants.


LRM is affiliated to the Danish Diabetes Academy funded by the Novo Nordisk Foundation (NNF 12SA1016522). The study was funded by the Health Research Fund of Central Denmark Region (A294), the Novo Nordisk Foundation (NNF16OC0020870), the A.P. Møller Foundation (15–253), and the Danish Osteoporosis Society (grant number n/a).

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Lene Ring Madsen.

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Conflict of Interest

LRM has received grant support from the Danish Diabetes Academy funded by the Novo Nordisk Foundation, the A.P. Møller Foundation, and the Health Research Fund of Central Denmark Region. RE has received grant support from the Danish Osteoporosis Society. MJO and NRJ have nothing to disclose. BL has received grant support from Amgen and Novo Nordisk and has received lecture fees from the advisory board of Amgen, UCB, Eli Lilly, and TEVA. BR has received grant support from the Novo Nordisk Foundation.

Ethical Approval

The study was approved by the ethical committee of Central Denmark Region (VEK 1-10-72-167-15) and registered at (NCT02625649). The study was conducted according to the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments.

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Participation in this study was preceded by full explanation of the purpose and nature of all procedures used and written consent.

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Madsen, L.R., Espersen, R., Ornstrup, M.J. et al. Bone Health in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Treated by Roux-En-Y Gastric Bypass and the Role of Diabetes Remission. OBES SURG 29, 1823–1831 (2019).

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  • Bariatric surgery
  • Roux-en-Y gastric bypass
  • Osteoporosis
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry
  • Bone turnover
  • Diabetes
  • High-resolution peripheral quantitative computed tomography