A recent study using a “virtual bone biopsy” suggests that individuals with type 2 diabetes may have structural defects within their bones, which could weaken them.

University of Southampton scientists created the “virtual bone biopsy” using high-resolution peripheral quantitative computed tomography (HRpQCT). This enabled them to assess bone structure and strength at a microstructural level in living patients.

The participant group included 177 men and 155 women, average age 76 years, who were part of the Hertfordshire Cohort Study, explains a release from the University of Southampton.

The study, published recently in Calcified Tissue International, may explain the high rates of fracture found in older men and women with type 2 diabetes, per the release.

“This new imaging technique has been able to identify that the cortical component of bone—the outer rim of the bone—tends to exhibit greater porosity in those with type 2 diabetes compared to those without. We can now see where there is a specific deficit within the bone, which may help clinicians to develop appropriate therapies to prevent future fractures,” explains the study’s lead researcher Mark Edwards, BSc, MB, ChB, MRCP, PhD, clinical lecturer at the University of Southampton, in the release.

“This study highlights an important link between diabetes and osteoporosis, and identifies a selective deficit in skeletal development, which leads to excess fracture risk in this increasingly frequent disorder,” states Professor Cyrus Cooper, director of the MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit, University of Southampton, and one of the study’s contributing authors.

“It also demonstrates that environmental influences during critical periods of early development might lead to several common non-communicable disorders in western populations,” he adds.

[Source(s): University of Southampton, Science Daily]