Over a quarter of seniors affected by diabetes


February 2, 2011

Diabetes is the seventh-leading cause of death in the United States due to the complications that patients can suffer from heart disease, stroke and kidney failure. A recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has emphasized the need for individuals to beware of their risk of diabetes, as an estimated 26 million Americans now have the disease.

The group that is most prone to diabetes is senior citizens, with 26.9 percent of Americans over the age of 65 suffering from the condition. Many may not even realize that they have it, which means it's crucial to protect against potentially fatal health conditions.

Family caregivers who are concerned for the health of a diabetic senior may want to consider installing a medical alarm system in a residence. This device can allow users to instantly send a medical alert to loved ones or doctors in the case of an emergency.

"These distressing numbers show how important it is to prevent type 2 diabetes and to help those who have diabetes manage the disease to prevent serious complications such as kidney failure and blindness," said Dr. Ann Albright, director of the CDC's Division of Diabetes Translation. "We know that a structured lifestyle program that includes losing weight and increasing physical activity can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes."