Diabetes and Unhealthy Behaviors Seen Leading to Physical Disabilities — Physician’s First Watch
Diabetes and Unhealthy Behaviors Seen Leading to Physical Disabilities
By Joe Elia
Two studies, one based on a meta-analysis and another on a French cohort, track the likely path to physical disabilities as patients with diabetes or unhealthy lifestyles age.
A Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology meta-analysis of 26 studies of people aged 55 and older found that diabetes of any type was associated with increased risk for disability, including impaired mobility (odds ratio, 1.7), limitations to activities of daily living (OR, 1.8), and limitations on instrumental activities, such as shopping or using the telephone (OR, 1.7).
A BMJ study of some 4000 community-dwelling people aged 65 and older followed for 12 years found associations between disability and unhealthy behaviors: a 72% increased disability risk associated with low or intermediate physical activity; a 24% increased risk from a diet low in fruits and vegetables; and a 26% increased risk from current smoking and former smoking (quit within the past 15 years). People with three unhealthy behaviors had a 2.5-fold risk for disability, relative to those with none.