Could Diabetes Predict Osteoarthritis?

A new study, published in the journal Diabetes Care, has suggested that Type 2 diabetes could predict the development of osteoarthritis. The study, titled, “Diabetes Is an Independent Predictor for Severe Osteoarthritis: Results from a longitudinal cohort study” was authored by Georg Schett, Arndt Kleyer, Carlo Perricone, Enijad Sahinbegovic, Anna Maria Iagnocco, Jochen Zwerina, Rolando Lorenzini, Franz Aschenbrenner, Francis Berenbaum, Maria-Antonietta D’Agostino, Johann Willeit, and Stefan Kiechl.

It was previously thought that osteoarthritis was caused by wear and tear. Prior to this study being completed, the only major risk factors for osteoarthritis were age and subjects BMI (body mass index). This study found that someone suffering from type 2 diabetes had twice the risk of contracting osteoarthritis.

This comprehensive study focused on a twenty year period that involved over 900 subjects. Most of the 900 patients were nondiabetic, with only 68 confirmed cases of type two diabetes. The study involved checking medical records and completing follow up visits with the patients every five years. The study was centered on severe osteoarthritis rates that would require surgery to repair a hip or knee.The study found that 73 nondiabetics and 13 subjects from the diabetics group needed to have surgery to repair joints.

The results of the study found that the diabetic test group had a surgery rate of almost 18%, while the nondiabetic group was much lower at 5.3%. Once the results were adjusted for BMI, age, and other contributing factors, type two diabetics were twice as likely to require surgery. This research has helped set the record straight with medical professionals. The majority of medical professionals previously believed that osteoarthritis was caused by wear and tear.

Dr. Joanne Marie Jordan, director of Thurston Arthritis Research Center at the University of North Carolina, commented on the results. “We’ve become increasingly aware of the fact that osteoarthritis and diabetes are conditions that may be part of one syndrome, or that at least travel together,” she says. “It is critical for the public and health care providers to recognize this linkage and work together to break the cycle.”

 Source: Diabetes Care, Arthritis Today


Jim Greene

Jim has spent the last 5 years writing for a variety of health-related websites. At Activebeat, James is an essential member of the editorial team, providing information on exercise, diet & nutrition and men’s health – among many other things.