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Insulin Resistance May Cause Weak Bones

Posted Jul 15 2013 10:07pm

Insulin resistance -- even if it hasn't yet developed into overt diabetes -- may cause bones to weaken, suggests a study completed by University of California/Los Angeles (UCLA; California, USA) researchers.  Preethi Srikanthan and team examined data collected on 634 men and women, ages 40 to 65 years, enrolled in the Midlife in the United States Study (MIDUS) and who did not have diabetes. The participants underwent dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA), which was used to calculate bone mineral density in the lumbar spine and left hip and femoral neck axis length and width.  The median Homeostasis Model of Assessment-Insulin Resistance (HOMA-IR) was 2.47 and the median glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) was 5.86%.  The researchers examined the relationship between insulin resistance and three composite indices of femoral neck strength relative to load -- compression strength index, bending strength index, and impact strength index. The association observed between a doubling of HOMA-IR and reductions in all three measures of bone strength remained statistically significant after adjustment for age, sex, race/ethnicity, menopause transition stage in women, study site, and body mass index.  Further, each doubling of the HOMA-IR was associated with a 9% to 14% decrease in the bone strength markers.  The study authors submit that: “This suggests that perhaps we should be looking at more the quality and strength of bone with something like a bone strength marker rather than just bone mineral density.”

Srikanthan P, et al. "Insulin resistance and bone strength: finding from the Study of Midlife in the United States" [Abstract FP24-6].  Presented at ENDO 2013 (Annual Meeting of The Endocrine Society), June 18, 2013.

  
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Tip #189 - Slim Down to Live Longer
Body Mass Index (BMI) is the ratio between height and weight. The number indicates whether a person is underweight, overweight, or within a normal weight range. Individuals with a BMI of 25.0 or greater are considered overweight and those with a BMI of 30.0 or greater are considered obese. Increased BMI is an established risk factor for several causes of death including ischemic heart disease, stroke, and certain cancers.

Researchers from the University of Oxford (United Kingdom) reported that a BMI above the normal range is associated with an increased risk of death. The team reviewed data from 57 prospective studies involving a total of 894,576 patients in western Europe and North America as part of the Prospective Studies Collaboration. Mortality was about 30% higher for each additional 5 kg/m2, and primarily was correlated to 40% increased risk for vascular disease and 60 to 120% raised risks for diabetic, renal, and hepatic diseases, as well as 10% increased risk of neoplastic death and a 20% increased risk of death from respiratory causes. The researchers explain that: “"By avoiding a further increase from 28 kg/m2 to 32 kg/m2, a typical person in early middle age would gain about two years of life expectancy. Alternatively, by avoiding an increase from 24 kg/m2 to 32 kg/m2, a young adult would on average gain about three extra years of life."

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