Diabetes is emerging as a major threat to bone health, leading to osteoporosis, especially among the elderly population.
These are the findings of an ongoing study at the Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (SGPGIMS).
Prof. Sushil Gupta, faculty, department of endocrinology, who is leading the study, said: “Bone health rests on two factors — bone mass and muscle mass (sarcopenia). In fact, the relationship between bones and muscle mass was complementary to each other. A fall in one triggers a decline in the health of another. And our findings show that diabetes leads to a loss in both bone mass and muscle mass.”
Gupta claimed that preliminary findings of the study that largely speaks for Lucknow and adjoining districts showed that 22 per cent of the elderly population with diabetes, faced bone loss and muscle loss.
The proportion of such people after the age of 70 is about 40 per cent.
He also informed that the trends in India are twice that of the western world.
A former professor of orthopaedics department King George’s Medical University (KGMU), Dr RN Srivastava said: “Poor calcium intake is the primary cause. The average daily intake is 200 mg per day which is way less than the recommended intake of 1000-1200 mg per day. Low exposure to sun — the main and most reliable source of vitamin D — is also a reason. Estimates show that over 70 per cent Indians are vitamin D deficient. Lack of physical activity is the third big cause.”
Stating that the findings of the study were significant, experts suggest that regular monitoring of both diabetes and bone health should be done to delay the possible complications.
“Poor bone health adversely impacts quality of life. In case of diabetics, bone health may also impact one’s status of diabetes as poor bone health may limit or restrict one’s physical activity,” explained Dr Sunil Varma, a general physician and diabetologist.
As per 5th National Family Health Survey, 10 per of the people in the state, aging 15 years or more, had high to very high levels of blood sugar.
The survey included blood sugar levels of people selected randomly as well as those taking medicines for diabetes. By high blood sugar, the surveyors meant 141-160 units (microgram per decilitre) and very high for blood sugar more than 160 units.