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Approved Research

Association of diabetes mellitus with spinal degenerative disorders: an observational and two-sample mendelian randomization study

Principal Investigator: Professor Jiang-Hua Liu
Approved Research ID: 91061
Approval date: August 9th 2022

Lay summary

Aims: The purpose of the current project is to clarify the causal correlation between diabetes mellitus (DM) and spinal degenerative disorders (SDD).

Scientific rationale: DM and SDD are two commonly encountered pathologies in clinical practice. DM is a chronic systematic disease that can involve multiple organs, while SDD represents an aging-related musculoskeletal disease that is caused by intervertebral disc degeneration (IDD). It has been reported that DM can affect nearly all connective tissues, including bone and cartilage. In support of this, published data have demonstrated that DM is implicated in the development and deterioration of osteoarthritis. As an analogical condition to osteoarthritis, however, whether SDD can also be caused or promoted by DM remains to be fully elucidated. Previous clinical and laboratory studies have indicated that DM is a contributing factor to intervertebral disc degeneration, although this finding is still controversial. Given the fact that disc degeneration is an initiating pathological process for SDD, we therefore hypothesize that DM may also likely be a culprit of SDD.

Expected duration of project: The estimated duration of this project is three years.

Public health impact: Our project will clarify the causal effect of DM on SDD risk, which can be useful for risk stratification and therapeutic optimization of SDD in DM patients.

To clarify the causal influence of diabetes mellitus on risk of degenerative spinal disorders. In order to comprehensively determine the etiology of degenerative spinal disorders, we hope to expand our project scope to clarify the causal influence of environment, dietary habit, lifestyle, genome and comorbidities on the occurrence of this disease.