Diabetes Increases Risk for Functional Limitations in Older Adults

Findings seen even after controlling for sociodemographic and other health factors
Diabetes Increases Risk for Functional Limitations in Older Adults
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Medically Reviewed By:
Mark Arredondo, M.D.

FRIDAY, May 3, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- Older adults with diabetes are more likely to develop functional limitations than adults without diabetes, according to a study published online April 16 in the Canadian Journal of Diabetes.

Andie MacNeil, from the Institute for Life Course and Aging at the University of Toronto, and colleagues compared changes in functional limitations during the COVID-19 pandemic among older adults with and without diabetes. The analysis included 6,045 participants in the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging, with follow-up into the pandemic.

The researchers found that older adults with diabetes were 1.28-fold more likely to develop one or more functional limitations than older adults without diabetes when controlling for sociodemographic and health covariates. For older adults with and without diabetes, risk factors for incident functional limitations included increasing age, low socioeconomic status, obesity, multimorbidity, and physical inactivity.

"It is important for health professionals to encourage their older patients, particularly those with diabetes, to engage in behaviors that can help maintain their functional status, such as regular physical activity," coauthor Susanna Abraham Cottagiri, from the School of Medicine at Queens University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, said in a statement.

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