bone health

Exercise May Reduce Fracture Risk for Patients With Type 2 Diabetes

An exercise-based lifestyle intervention may increase bone turnover and bone mineral density (BMD) in patients with type 2 diabetes, according to the results of a recent study.

The researchers conducted a post-hoc analysis of the U-TURN trial and included 98 patients with type 2 diabetes. All participants were randomly assigned to either the 12-month lifestyle intervention (n = 64) or standard care (n = 34). The lifestyle intervention included 5 to 6 weekly aerobic training sessions. Half of the training sessions were combined with resistance training. The researchers measured serum markers of bone turnover and BMD both before the intervention and at the 1-year follow-up. 

The results indicated that when compared with the standard care group from baseline to follow up, there was a 34% increase in s-propeptide of type-I procollagen, a 36% increase in serum-carboxyterminal collagen I crosslink, and a 31% increase in s-osteocalcin in the lifestyle intervention group. Increased bone turnover was most strongly associated with loss of weight and fat mass. However, BMD was not affected by the lifestyle intervention.

“A 12-month intensive exercise-based lifestyle intervention led to a substantial but balanced increase in bone turnover in persons with [type 2 diabetes],” the researchers concluded. “The increased bone turnover combined with a preserved BMD, despite a considerable weight loss, is likely to reflect improved bone health and warrants further studies addressing the impact of exercise on risk of fractures in persons with [type 2 diabetes].”


—Leigh Precopio



Abildgaard J, Johansen MY, Skov-Jeppesen K, et al. Effects of a lifestyle intervention on bone turnover in persons with type 2 diabetes: a post hoc analysis of the U-TURN trial. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2022;54(1):38-46. doi:10.1249/MSS.0000000000002776