What is it about?

We studied 5,377 adults aged at least 60 years in the English longitudinal study on aging. From 2004 to 2015, participants completed the 36-item frailty index every two years. At baseline, 12% of participants had diabetes and 35% were frail. Over the 10 years of follow-up, frailty of participants with diabetes increased faster compared to partcipants without diabetes, regardless of how frail they were at the start of the study. Thus, a person with 60 years of diabetes has a frailty index equal to 72 years without diabetes.

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Why is it important?

This study is, to our knowledge, the first to evaluate the variables related to diabetes with curves of frailty progression. The results of this study show that people with diabetes have a level of frailty comparable to that of much older individuals without diabetes. This suggests that diabetes is associated with an accelerated aging process.

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This page is a summary of: Prospective Association Among Diabetes Diagnosis, HbA1c, Glycemia, and Frailty Trajectories in an Elderly Population, Diabetes Care, August 2019, American Diabetes Association, DOI: 10.2337/dc19-0497.
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