How Diabetes Impacts Diseases of Aging

Elderly people with long-standing diabetes are more likely to have kidney disease, nerve damage, and circulation problems such as heart disease and stroke. They are less able to walk, do housework, prepare meals, and manage money when compared to age-matched individuals who do not have diabetes. Women with diabetes become disabled at approximately twice the rate of women without diabetes, and they have an increased risk of falls and hip fractures. Long-standing diabetes can affect bone quality, and diabetes increases the risk of fractures with falls.

Neurological deterioration is greater in people with diabetes: they are more likely to develop memory problems and have more rapid deterioration in memory with time. Part of the reason for the more severe deterioration in cognitive function may be the effect of diabetes on the blood vessels and increased risk of small strokes.

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