Cheiroarthropathy: A common disorder in patients in the T1D exchange

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DOI: 10.4158/EP-2018-0346


Objective: Diabetic cheiroarthropathy is a long-term complication of diabetes that causes significant morbidity and can impair functional abilities. It has not been well studied in individuals with type 1 diabetes (T1D). The T1D Exchange registry provided an opportunity to assess the frequency of cheiroarthropathy and related characteristics.

Methods: An internet-based survey was sent to 6,199 registry participants ≥18 years old, with 1,911 (31%) responding (62% female, 90% non-Hispanic White, mean age 40 years, median diabetes duration 20 years, mean glycated hemoglobin [HbA1c] 7.7% [61 mmol/mol]).

Results: A total of 586 (31%) adults reported a diagnosis of ≥1 upper extremity disorder: 293 (15%) reported frozen shoulder, 293 (15%) trigger finger, 261 (14%) carpal tunnel, and 92 (5%) Dupuytren contracture, with 281 (15%) reporting ≥2 disorders. Those with upper extremity joint disorders were more likely older ( P<.001) and had longer duration of diabetes ( P<.001) than those without. HbA1c levels at the time of survey completion were 7.6% in participants with cheiroarthropathy versus 7.8% (62 mmol/mol) in participants without cheiroarthropathy.

Conclusion: Cheiroarthropathy is common in adults with T1D. Additional research is needed to understand the pathogenesis and risk factors for this disorder. Standards of care for early recognition and treatment of diabetic cheiroarthropathy are also needed, particularly for adults with long-term diabetes. Improved awareness of cheiroarthropathy signs and symptoms of is needed so that patients can be identified and seek treatment before the condition causes disability.

Abbreviations: BMI = body mass index; CGM = continuous glucose monitor; DCCT/EDIC = Diabetes Control and Complications Trial/Epidemiology of Diabetes Interventions and Complications; HbA1C = glycated hemoglobin; T1D = type 1 diabetes; T2D = type 2 diabetes.

Journal Title

Endocrine practice : official journal of the American College of Endocrinology and the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists





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MeSH Keywords

Adolescent; Adult; Blood Glucose; Blood Glucose Self-Monitoring; Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1; Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2; Female; Glycated Hemoglobin A; Humans; Male


Blood Glucose Self-Monitoring; Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1; Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2; Glycated Hemoglobin A

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