Diabetes makes you older before your time

April 2, 2011 at 11:54 PM
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ANN ARBOR, Mich., April 2 (UPI) -- People in their 50s with diabetes may age before their time compared with their diabetes-free counterparts, U.S. researchers say.

Dr. Christine Cigolle, an assistant professor of family medicine and internal medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School, says adults ages 51-70 with diabetes developed age-related ailments such as cognitive impairment, incontinence, falls, dizziness, vision impairment and pain at a faster rate than those without diabetes.

For adults age 51-60 with diabetes, the odds of developing new geriatric conditions were nearly double those who didn't have diabetes, but by the time people with and without diabetes reach 80, the disparities begin to disappear, says Cigolle, the study's lead author.

"Our findings suggest that middle-age adults with diabetes start to accumulate these age-related problems," Cigolle says in a statement.

"Because diabetes affects multiple organ systems, it has the potential to contribute significantly to the development of a number of issues that we associate with aging."

The findings are published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

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