Recker Receives $1.5 Million NIH Grant to Study Osteoporosis in Diabetic Women

Recker Receives $1.5 Million NIH Grant to Study Osteoporosis in Diabetic Women

Longtime Creighton researcher Robert Recker, MD’63, has received a $1.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to investigate the relationship between diabetes and osteoporosis.

Diabetics experience osteoporosis at higher rates than the general population, says Recker, a principal investigator with Creighton’s Osteoporosis Research Center. The five-year study will involve 40 diabetic women and 40 nondiabetic women.

Recker’s approach reflects an earlier study in which 60 people suffering from low-trauma bone fractures were found to have abnormalities in the mechanical quality of their bone. Recker compares the difference to iron and steel.

“Iron, if you put enough load on it, breaks,” he says. “Steel, if you put the same load, will bend a little, but it doesn’t fail nearly as easily as iron.”

Recker says this initial study will involve Caucasian women, who experience osteoporosis at much higher levels than other people.

“Other races — and men — will have different findings, which will confound the data,” he says. “If we conclude a study on white women, then we can do a study on nonwhite women. One step at a time.”

Diabetic women interested in participating should call 402.280.2663.