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Association between diabetic neuropathy and osteoporosis in patients: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Chunhua Liu 1Haihong Lv 2Peng Niu 3Jiaojiao Tan 1Yuping Ma 1

Arch Osteoporos doi: 10.1007/s11657-020-00804-6.


Objectives: Many studies have explored the association between neuropathy and osteoporosis in patients with diabetes mellitus. However, the results still remain inconsistent and controversial. We aimed to estimate the association between diabetic neuropathy and osteoporosis.

Methods: Databases, including PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, the Cochrane library, Chinese Biomedical Literature Database (CBM), and Wanfang, were screened from inception to 30 March 2020. Studies were selected and data were extracted by two independent reviewers. Study characteristics and quality sections were reviewed independently. Pooled ORs and 95% CIs were calculated using random effects model when evidence of heterogeneity was present; otherwise, fixed effects model was used. Meta-regression and subgroup analyses were performed to explore the source of heterogeneity. Sensitivity analysis and publication bias were also tested.

Results: A total of 11 studies with 27,585 participants were included in this analysis which indicated that there was an increased odd between diabetic neuropathy and osteoporosis (overall OR 2.20, 95% CI 1.71-2.83). In the subgroup analyses and meta-regression, diabetic neuropathy has no significant difference in osteoporosis or fracture (p = 0.532). And osteoporosis also has no significant difference in type 1 or type 2 diabetic neuropathy (p = 0.668).

Conclusions: This meta-analysis suggests that patients with diabetic neuropathy have a significantly increased chance of developing osteoporosis, even fragility fracture. The clinicians should pay more attention to the patients with diabetic neuropathy. Further studies were still needed to explore the confounding factors among studies and to elucidate the underlying biological mechanisms.