A family history of diabetes makes us prone to this deadly disease. Well, that’s what we’ve always known. But a recent scientific development is adding to our problems and for women, it’s not good news.

A study claims that a history of first-degree family members with diabetes is linked to increased bone mineral density (BMD) as well as  insulin resistance. The study was published in the journal The North American Menopause Society (NAMS).

“This study shows an association between a family history of diabetes and increased bone density in postmenopausal women. This finding may be related to higher insulin levels in these women with a hereditary predisposition to diabetes because insulin has a bone-building effect,” says Dr Stephanie Faubion, NAMS medical director.

“These women are at increased risk for developing diabetes, which is associated with skeletal fragility and increased fracture risk,” added Dr Faubion.

The patients with type 2 diabetes are at an increased risk of fracture and so understanding the early pathophysiology of altered BMD could be critical in the development of preventive strategies for diabetic osteoporosis.

Although strong evidence has revealed normal to high BMD in most patients with type 2 diabetes, no data have been published, to date, that demonstrates whether BMD is altered in persons with a first-degree family history of diabetes.

The study involving nearly 900 normoglycemic postmenopausal women, found that the BMD of the lumbar spine and femoral neck was significantly higher in participants with a first-degree family history of diabetes than in those without such history, even in women with normal blood glucose levels. These same participants additionally showed increased insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia.

Well ladies, it’s time to be extra cautious about your health, especially when you are carrying the baggage of family history. Adopt a healthy and active lifestyle with regular health check-ups to keep the worst consequences of diabetes at bay.