Hadassah

Hadassah Endocrinologist Aims to Improve Life for Type 1 Diabetics

Thursday, Oct 31 2019

Shoshana was playing with her two toddlers when she felt an intense pain in her back. Just by picking up one of her children, she had broken four bones.

The cause of the fragility of her bones was type 1 diabetes. While Shoshana’s case is unusual for someone so young, Prof. Rivka Dresner Pollak, head of the Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism at the Hadassah Medical Organization, says it typifies the risk of bone fractures for diabetics. Just by reaching up to take something off a high shelf or coughing excessively, diabetics can break bones.

Together with Prof. Lynne Cox of the University of Oxford, Prof. Pollak was recently awarded funding for a pre-clinical joint project to explore why type 1 diabetics are far more likely than non-diabetics to have fragile bones as they age. The two colleagues will also develop treatments to minimize the risk of fractures. 

Between 20 and 30 percent of older type 1 diabetics who fracture a hip die within a year of the accident. A broken hip significantly reduces mobility, at times leaving patients bedridden. As a result, they are at risk for developing pneumonia because they are not breathing as well. Often, they are hospitalized, exposing them to other infections.

In addition, individuals who are more susceptible to breakages are already in poorer health and, therefore, their demise is not unexpected.

“It’s great that diabetics are living longer, but we need to ensure they have quality of life,” comments Prof. Pollak. Jerusalem born, Prof. Pollak studied medicine at the Hadassah-Hebrew University School of Medicine. With gerontology and diabetes as her areas of expertise, she became increasingly aware of diabetic osteoporosis and began searching for a solution. That eventually led her to team up with biochemist Prof. Cox.

For years, doctors have known that diabetics can face eye, kidney, nerve, heart, and other medical problems. In the last few years, however, the brittle bones of aging type 1 diabetics have led to more focused attention on bone weakness as well.

Prof. Pollak hopes to move quickly from the laboratory to clinical trials.  Read more about Prof. Pollak’s study on age-related bone fragility in type 1 diabetes at https://www.hadassah.org/news-stories/hadassah-oxford-study-of-bone-fragility.html

 
Hadassah Endocrinologist Aims to Improve Life for Type 1 Diabetics
Hadassah Endocrinologist Aims to Improve Life for Type 1 Diabetics
Prof. Rivka Dresner Pollak, head of the Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism at the Hadassah Medical Organization

Learn more about the Hadassah Medical Organization.

Related Stories

alt_text

Wednesday, Nov 13 2019

After Years of Unidentified Pain, Teenager Finds Relief at Hadassah

A very active, athletic 17-year-old girl arrived at Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem complaining of pain in her stomach. She had no idea there was a massive growth in her abdomen that weighed more than six pounds.

READ MORE ›
alt_text

Tuesday, Nov 12 2019

Hadassah Experts Offer Information and Advice on Infant Sleep Issues

Hadassah Experts Offer Information and Advice on Infant Sleep Issues 

READ MORE ›
alt_text

Tuesday, Nov 5 2019

First-Ever Magen David Adom Dispatch Center Dedicated at Hadassah

The first-ever Magen David Adom (MDA) Emergency Ambulance Dispatch Center was dedicated at Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem on October 31.

READ MORE ›
alt_text

Thursday, Oct 31 2019

New Imaging Technology Saves Precious Minutes in Stroke Diagnosis

A new automated cerebral imaging technology that saves invaluable minutes when diagnosing a possible stroke is now available at Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem.

READ MORE ›

Donation Questions

donorservices@hadassah.org

(800) 928-0685

Membership Questions

membership@hadassah.org

(800) 664-5646

Israel Travel

israeltravel@hadassah.org

(800) 237-1517

Contact Us

40 Wall Street

New York, NY 10005

support@hadassah.org

More ›

Show More