Disabilities Increase Risk of Diabetes

Barbara H. Bardenheier PHD, MPH, MA Division of Diabetes Translation, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Atlanta, GAMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Barbara H. Bardenheier PHD, MPH, MA
Division of Diabetes Translation, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Atlanta, GA

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Bardenheier: Our main findings were that older adults who become disabled, even mildly, are at increased risk of developing diabetes.

MedicalResearch.com: Were any of the findings unexpected?

Dr. Bardenheier: I would say, yes we were surprised, because we have traditionally thought of diabetes as preceding disability rather than the other way around.  Controlling for mediators did not affect estimates very much. This suggests that there might be other intrinsic aspects of functional decline and disability that affect diabetes risk. If so, it is something that is currently poorly understood

MedicalResearch.com: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Bardenheier: Long-lasting exercise programs—including muscular strengthening exercises and walking, as well as programs to maintain healthy weight—may help maintain physical function and at the same time reduce diabetes.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Bardenheier: Further research might be done to assess the extent to which modifiable factors resulting from mobility disability hasten the onset of diabetes.

Citation:

Association of Functional Decline With Subsequent Diabetes Incidence in U.S. Adults Aged 51 Years and Older: The Health and Retirement Study 1998-2010

Bardenheier BH1, Gregg EW, Zhuo X, Cheng YJ, Geiss LS.
Diabetes Care. 2014 Feb 18. [Epub ahead of print]

 

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