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Long term Type 1 is not linked to osteoarthritis of hand

By Lisa Foster-McNulty, MSN, RN, CDE


Karin Magnusson of the National Advisory Unit on Rehabilitation in Rheumatology and the Department of Rheumatology at Diakonhjemmet Hospital in Oslo, Norway, conducted a study with her colleagues on 96 subjects who were diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes prior to 1970.  Their average age and A1c were 62.2 years and 7.43%, respectively.  These subjects were compared to 69 control subjects without a diagnosis of diabetes.

osteoarthritis of the hand in type 1 diabetes patientsThe researchers compared the two groups for radiographic hand OA, erosive hand OA, the Australian/Canadian index for hand pain, and for disability and stiffness.  The analysis was adjusted for the factors of sex, age, waist circumference, and level of education.  They did not find any link between Type 1 diabetes and the more prevalent problem of hand OA.  They did, however, note a trend in the diabetes patients towards an increased prevalence of erosive hand OA.  They also noted a strong association between living for many years with Type 1 diabetes and increased hand pain, stiffness, and disability.  Reduced hand function was especially noted in women and younger participants with a higher A1c level.  The authors commented that more research on larger groups of participants should be conducted to explore the association between diabetes and erosive hand OA.

It makes sense to manage diabetes as well as possible, so if you are looking to tighten up your control, please give us a call.  We’d be happy to help!


Magnusson K, Holte KB, Juel NG, et al. Long term types 1 diabetes is associated with hand pain, disability and stiffness but not with structural hand osteoarthritis features – The Dialong hand study. PLoS One. 2017. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0177118


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