• Study highlights risk factors of consistently high blood sugar
    Harry Green (Credit: University of Exeter)

Research News

Study highlights risk factors of consistently high blood sugar

Jan 16 2024

New research led by the University of Exeter has employed genetic techniques across a largescale study to find out what can cause a range of musculoskeletal problems, particularly found to be more prevalent in people with diabetes, or who are obese.

Funded by the Exeter Centre of Excellence for Diabetes Research (EXCEED) and supported by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Exeter Biomedical Research Centre (BRC), the team used data from more than 370,000 participants in the UK Biobank study. Researchers looked at what causes four conditions: frozen shoulder, Dupuytren’s disease, carpal tunnel syndrome and trigger finger. All four conditions cause pain and reduced mobility in the shoulder, hand, wrist, or fingers.

The study found that having consistently high blood sugar (known as glycemia) increased risk of all four conditions. In addition, the study found that having a high BMI can cause carpal tunnel syndrome.

Research lead Dr Harry Green, University of Exeter Medical School, said: “Our study consistently demonstrates that having high blood sugar over the long term causes these upper limb conditions. We can now classify them as diabetes complications.  Clinicians treating diabetes patients should be aware of these complications in clinic, so they can advise on the best treatment pathways.”

The study is published in the International Journal of Epidemiology.

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