Study: Seniors with diabetes likely suffer from other chronic conditions

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More than 90% of seniors with diabetes also suffer from at least one other chronic condition. And nearly half have four or more major medical conditions, including diabetes, results show.

The overwhelming combinations of conditions seem to lessen individuals' ability to manage their diabetes effectively, researchers said. They said the findings indicate doctors more often need to teach patients how to cope with diabetes and other conditions at the same time.

"Right now, disease management does one disease at a time - but few older patients come with just one. If we want to really improve quality of life for these patients we need to be treating more than one at a time," said John Piette, Ph.D., senior study author and co-director of a joint University of Michigan Health System-Veterans Affairs program.