Diabetes and fractures: new evidence of atypical femoral fractures?

N H Rasmussen*, J Dal, F de Vries, J P van den Bergh, M H Jensen, P Vestergaard

*Corresponding author for this work

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Patients with diabetes have an increased risk of fractures. In this study, subtrochanteric and femoral shaft fractures were increased in patients with type 1 diabetes compared with the general population. In the light of this, more evidence points towards an association between diabetes and atypical femoral fractures.

INTRODUCTION: Patients with diabetes have an increased risk of femoral fractures, but little is known about the risk of atypical femoral fractures (AFFs). The aim of this study was to identify the risk of subtrochanteric and femoral shaft (ST/FS) fractures and estimate the risk of AFFs in patients with type 1 (T1D) and type 2 diabetes (T2D).

METHODS: From the nationwide Danish National Patient Register, we identified patients with T1D (n = 19,896), T2D (n = 312,188), and sex- and aged-matched controls without diabetes (n = 996,252) from the general population and all ST/FS fractures (n = 7509). Data were analyzed using a Cox proportional-hazards model and the incidence rate and rate ratio of ST/FS fractures were estimated.

RESULTS: The incidence rate of ST/FS fractures in T1D was 52.14 events per 100,000 person years and 73.21 per 100,000 person years in T2D. T1D was associated with an increased risk of ST/FS (HR 2.07 (95% CI 1.68-2.56)), whereas T2D was not (HR 0.99 (95% CI 0.94-1.10)). Previous ST/FS fractures were associated with an increased risk of subsequent ST/FS fractures (HR 6.95 (95% CI 6.00-8.05)) and the use of bisphosphonates with an increased risk of ST/FS fractures (HR 1.72 (95% CI 1.54-1.91)).

CONCLUSION: Patients with T1D have a higher risk of ST/FS fractures compared with sex- and age-matched controls. Since a proportion of ST/FS fractures are classified as AFFs, this could point towards the fact that AFFs also are increased in patients with T1D, but not T2D.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)447-455
Number of pages9
JournalOsteoporosis International
Issue number3
Early online date14 Dec 2019
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020


  • Atypical femoral fractures
  • Diabetes type 1
  • Diabetes type 2
  • Femoral shaft fracture
  • Fractures
  • RISK
  • Subtrochanteric fracture
  • TYPE-1

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