Avoid Diabetes Complications as You Age
A recent study reported in the Journal of Diabetes and its Complications notes that when a person with diabetes has more out-of-control risk factors, there is a greater risk for developing diabetes complications.
The study of 1,587 participants from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis assessed some of the common health indicators in people with diabetes such as their weight, fasting glucose level and age of the diabetes onset.
These are three health risk factors that were assessed:
- High fasting glucose equal to or over 140/dl
- Diabetes diagnosis at the age of 45 years or younger
- Waist circumference of 41 inches or more for women and 45 inches or more for men
For those with both high fasting glucose levels and an early age of diabetes diagnosis, there was a higher risk of death or for developing cardiovascular disease, heart failure, chronic kidney disease and retinopathy.
For the study participants with both an early age of diabetes diagnosis and a high waist circumference, there was a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease, heart failure, chronic kidney disease and retinopathy.
In the research subgroup that had all three risks going on: early age of diabetes diagnosis, high waist circumference and higher fasting glucose levels, there was the greatest risk for death, and health complications of heart failure, chronic kidney disease and retinopathy.
This study is a good reminder that if you are at risk for developing diabetes, for instance, one of your parents has diabetes, do what you can to prevent diabetes from developing in your lifetime: get older with a healthy weight, enjoy regular exercise and avoid sweetened beverages.
If you do develop diabetes, keep it well controlled with the fasting glucose numbers in the morning closer to 100 mg/dl, and definitely not at 140 mg/dl or higher. Our lifestyle habits of exercise and a healthy wholesome diet have a huge impact on our health down the road.
About the Author
Rita Smith is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator. She's been working in the field of nutrition and disease prevention for more than 35 years and currently works at Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital in Charlottesville, Va. Each week, Rita provides nutrition counseling to clients who have a variety of disorders or diseases including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, gastroparesis and weight management. For these clients, food choices can help them manage their health problems.
By: Rita P. Smith, MS, RD, CDE, Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital