Falling is the leading cause of accidental death for elderly people. A new study conducted on the aging population has revealed that diabetics are four times more likely to fall than those who are not diabetic. currently 150 million people are estimated to have type 2 diabetes, and the number is expected to reach 300 million people by 2025.
Previous investigations have defined risk factors for falls among frail elderly nursing home residents, which include gait or balance disorder, vision impairment and medications, but until now diabetes has not been widely recognized as an important risk factor.
Diabetes has been now added to the list of risk factors for falling. By controlling diabetes, addressing the complications it causes and being vigilant about the other factors that contribute to falls; we may substantially reduce the risk according to researchers.
Although complications from diabetes include the drop of blood pressure when standing up, known as orthostatic hypotension, as well as visual impairments, the study found that neither of these were an explanation for the increased fall risk. It has been speculated that with peripheral nerves that can affect the sensation in diabetic people's feet, known as peripheral neuropathy, could be the mechanism at fault for the higher fall rate in diabetic patients.
Following the finding, it has been indicated that nursing homes, assisted living facilities and others that care for the elderly should consider diabetes a significant risk factor for falling.
In an era of limited resources, knowing that diabetics are more likely to fall may facilitate identifying older individuals who are likely to benefit from interventions aimed at reducing falls and their consequences.