'Diabetes leads to multiple disorders among elderly'

Old people have urinary problems, weak joints, says study

 Diabetes is not a single disease, it is accompanied by many other disorders, especially among the elderly. A study among the elderly diabetic in Delhi found a high number of them suffer from low blood sugar and depression.

Delhi Diabetes Research Centre conducted a study among 1,200 diabetics in the age group between 65 and 82 years. The subjects were followed up for three years for various other co-morbidities.

It was found that 36 per cent of the subjects faced hypoglycaemia, or low blood sugar. Among them, 10 per cent needed hospitalisation at least once for life-saving treatment.

As many as 25 per cent were found to be depressed. They prefer spending time alone. They complained of lack of sleep and avoided food.

Nearly 30 per cent of the subjects develop urinary problems ranging from incontinence (no control on urine) to frequent urination during night. The study also found many joint and bone-related problems affecting this age group. Eight per cent had frequent falls leading to fracture of hip bone and other bones.

Some of these men and women received serious injuries. Blurred vision, imbalance and involvement of nerves and weak joints contributed to frequent falls.

The study concluded that joint stiffness and difficulty in moving, hearing loss, defective visions were the other ailments troubling the elderly diabetics. A large number of subjects were also found taking medicines for coronary artery disease and high blood pressure. 

Impaired memory was the other common factor for either not taking medicines or taking medicines more than required.

 Lead author of the study, diabetic expert Dr A K Jhingan said timely intervention and support of other elderly helped improve overall quality of life of the subjects.
 “All problems of the elderly are interlinked. One leads to the other. Thus, we should develop an approach which can help sorting them out together,” he said.

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