Prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus: a pilot study

Hippokratia 2007, 11(4):216-218

I. Douloumpakas, A. Pyrpasopoulou, A. Triantafyllou, Ch. Sampanis, S. Aslanidis


Background: Diabetes mellitus is associated with a variety of musculoskeletal disorders. The prevalence of connective tissue disorders in these patients has increased in the recent years affecting significantly their quality of life.
Methods – Results: We conducted a pilot study including 208 sequentially selected patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus regularly followed-up at the Diabetes Center of the Hippokration University Hospital. Among the diabetic patients who were screened according to the Short Musculoskeletal Function Assessment Questionnaire for musculoskeletal symptoms and findings, 82.6% were found to exhibit musculoskeletal abnormalities, mainly of the degenerative, noninflammatory type.
Conclusions: Musculoskeletal disorders are a common finding among patients with type 2 diabetes. Obesity and accumulation of abnormally glycosylated byproducts have been proposed as potential pathogenetic mediators of these connective tissue abnormalities. Of particular interest is, however, the common association of osteoarthritis, involving even non-weight bearing joints in patients with type 2 diabetes, indicating a common pathophysiologic mechanism connecting these two clinical conditions.

Keywords: musculoskeletal disorders, diabetes mellitus, prevalence

Correspoding author: Aslanidis Sp, 2nd Propedeutic Dept of Internal Medicine, Hippokration General Hospital, 546 42 Thessaloniki, Greece, tel: +302310892072, fax: +302310992834, e-mail: