Low calcium intake, poor diet and inactivity are among the common risk factors that may cause fractures in older women. Recently, researchers found that, in addition to these risk factors, diabetes may also increase the risk of fracture in older women.

In a nine-year study published in the January issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, researchers studied the risk of fractures in more than 9,500 women over the age of 65. They found that women who had type 2 diabetes were twice as likely as healthy, non-diabetic women to suffer from hip or shoulder fractures, regardless of bone density or body weight. Researchers also found that women taking insulin to treat their diabetes were more than twice as likely to suffer from foot fractures.

Researchers speculate that diabetes may increase the risk of fracture in a way that may not be associated with bone density, and they urge older women with diabetes to take precautions to prevent fractures. Type 2 diabetes is commonly associated with obesity, and may be prevented through regular exercise and a healthy diet.

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