Diabetes presents growing problem for nursing homes

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Diabetes is "enormously prevalent" in nursing homes. One out of every four residents over the age of 65 is diagnosed with the disease, according to a new report from the Institute for the Future of Aging Services.

Researchers analyzed the 2004 National Nursing Home Survey, which includes data representing 1.32 million nursing home residents over age 65. Among the findings: Non-white residents were twice as likely to have diabetes as white residents; diabetic residents were younger than their non-diabetic counterparts; and the prevalence of diabetes in U.S. nursing homes was higher in 2004 compared to previous years. IFAS is the applied research arm of the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging.

Those afflicted with the disease are at a greater risk for developing other conditions that can affect their quality of life and care needs, according to researchers. Among the examples shown in the report, diabetics are more likely to take more medication and arrive at a nursing home with pre-existing circulatory problems. Diabetics are also 56% more likely to have a pressure ulcer upon admittance.

The research was published in the February 2008 issue of Diabetes Care. To view the report, please go to http://www.futureofaging.org.