Aug. 21 (UPI) -- Families with a history of diabetes, which is linked to producing too much or too little insulin, have a higher bone density than those who don't, a new study says.
This puts people in these families at a higher risk to experience bone fragility or fractures, according to research published this week in Menopause.
"This finding may be related to higher insulin levels in these women with a hereditary predisposition to diabetes, because insulin has a bone-building effect," Stephanie Faubion, the medical director at North American Menopause Society, said in a press release. "Although this sounds like good news, these women are at increased risk for developing diabetes, which is associated with skeletal fragility and increased fracture risk."
This study draws on previous research that established a link between type 2 diabetes and increased fracture risk. The authors wanted to use its findings to develop possible therapies for diabetic osteoporosis.
The researchers examined close to 900 postmenopausal Chinese women. They found that those with a higher bone mass density of the femoral neck and lumbar spine had a drastically higher risk of diabetes for first-degree family members.
These patients also showed heightened levels of insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia.
A previous study showed seniors with diabetes had up to a 50 percent risk of hip fracture.
About 1 in 4 people in the United States have diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.