OBJECTIVE: To investigate the differences in bone turnover between diabetic patients and controls.
DESIGN: A systematic review and meta-analysis.
METHODS: A literature search was conducted using the databases Medline at PubMed and EMBASE. The free text search terms 'diabetes mellitus' and 'bone turnover', 'sclerostin', 'RANKL', 'osteoprotegerin', 'tartrate-resistant acid' and 'TRAP' were used. Studies were eligible if they investigated bone turnover markers in patients with diabetes compared with controls. Data were extracted by two reviewers.
RESULTS: A total of 2881 papers were identified of which 66 studies were included. Serum levels of the bone resorption marker C-terminal cross-linked telopeptide (-0.10 ng/mL (-0.12, -0.08)) and the bone formation markers osteocalcin (-2.51 ng/mL (-3.01, -2.01)) and procollagen type 1 amino terminal propeptide (-10.80 ng/mL (-12.83, -8.77)) were all lower in patients with diabetes compared with controls. Furthermore, s-tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase was decreased in patients with type 2 diabetes (-0.31 U/L (-0.56, -0.05)) compared with controls. S-sclerostin was significantly higher in patients with type 2 diabetes (14.92 pmol/L (3.12, 26.72)) and patients with type 1 diabetes (3.24 pmol/L (1.52, 4.96)) compared with controls. Also, s-osteoprotegerin was increased among patients with diabetes compared with controls (2.67 pmol/L (0.21, 5.14)).
CONCLUSIONS: Markers of both bone formation and bone resorption are decreased in patients with diabetes. This suggests that diabetes mellitus is a state of low bone turnover, which in turn may lead to more fragile bone. Altered levels of sclerostin and osteoprotegerin may be responsible for this.