Diabetics Have 50 Percent Increased Physical Disability Risk

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A recent study indicates that people suffering from diabetes are also likely to suffer from an increased risk of physical disability by as much as 50 percent compared to non-diabetics. This was what Australian researchers found out after analysis of the results coming from earlier studies. The new results of the study are published in The Lancet diabetes Endocrinology journal.

Previous studies associating physical disability with diabetes provided mixed results, from no link found to a direct association. This new study provided a more reliable estimate of disability risk associated with diabetes. During the meta-analysis, the researchers, headed by Dr Anna Peeters and Dr Evelyn Wong, of the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute in Melbourne, Australia, the team of researchers looked into more than 3,000 studies that examined the association between disability and diabetes. After examining the scientific literature, the researchers narrowed down the list to 26 studies after removing those that were irrelevant or not related to the aim of the said study.

The study defined disability in terms of impaired mobility and functional disability. The former refers to impaired ability to move around while the latter refers to the impaired ability to perform daily activities such as eating, taking a bath, answering a phone or using transport. After conducting the extensive analysis of results, the researchers found out that diabetics experience around 50 to 80 percent increased risk of disability as compared to non-diabetics. The study included analysis of results based on studies among older people aged over 65 years old.

“The reasons why diabetes is associated with physical disability are still unclear, although several mechanisms have been suggested,” Dr. Peeters surmised. “It’s possible that the high blood glucose concentrations experienced by people with diabetes might lead to chronic muscle inflammation, eventually resulting in physical disability, and some studies have shown that diabetes is associated with rapid and worsening muscle wasting. The complications associated with diabetes, such as heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease, can all result in disability. As the world’s population ages, and diabetes becomes more common, it seems clear that we will see an increased need for disability-related health resources, which health systems around the world need to be prepared for,” she further added.

Source: Medical News Today
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