Here are some added complications:
- Elderly diabetics may experience health consequences, including accelerated aging and increased rates of premature death and disability, according to the American Diabetes Association.
- They are also more likely to have hypertension, dyslipidemia and cardiovascular disease, as well as cognitive impairment, depression and urinary incontinence.
- Diabetes has been associated with excess risk for falls and fractures.
- Those 60 and over with diagnosed diabetes were two to three times more likely to be unable to walk one-fourth of a mile, climb stairs and do housework than similar-age adults without diabetes, according to the third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
The elderly may be particularly vulnerable to the disease because of economic conditions that may prompt them to skip health appointments, or lack of regular exercise or a support group. Of particular urgency in fighting the disease among this population are the burgeoning numbers of elderly diabetics. If current trends continue, the proportion of diabetics who are 65 and older is projected to increase to 53 percent by 2025 and to 58 percent by 2050, according to estimates cited by the American Diabetes Association.