Mobility Scooters Can Increase Your Risk of Developing Daibetes and Heart Disease

Fri, 05 Mar 2010
Mobility scooters are a usual sight on our roads, being a common mode of transport for Britain's older population.

However, recent research suggests that mobility scooters can do more harm than good by heightening the risk of diabetes and heart disease .

Astonishingly, a study of scooter users in the U.S.A discovered that almost one in five developed diabetes after buying one to get around.

Many of those users also needed to be prescribed higher doses of blood pressure pills and statins, the cholesterol-zapping drugs .

The research, published in the American Journal of Cardiology, highlights how multiple benefits to patients' health from being able to get around more easily are being erased by the effects on the cardiovascular system.

Researchers are urging doctors to consider the risks of scooter use before making recommendations to patients invest in a scooter.

There are estimated to be around 90,000 powered scooters and wheelchairs being used in the UK.

The number of scooters in use in the UK has increased in recent years as they have grown more popular with those unable to walk properly as a result of illnesses like lung disease, arthritis and heart failure.

A committee of MPs is presently investigating the safety of mobility scooters, following a spate of accidents.

There have even been incidents when scooters have killed individuals.

The machines are exempt from the Road Traffic Act, which means police are in most cases powerless to act.

The latest research, conducted by a team at the Eglin Air Force Base Hospital and the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Ohio, studied the effects on users' health.

They recruited 102 patients, with an average age of 68, who had obtained medical approval for a scooter and monitored their health over six years.

Even though patients stated that they felt better physically and mentally, tests demonstrated that 18.7 per cent developed diabetes during the follow-up period.

Diabetes increases the risks of heart attacks and strokes and is related to insufficient exercise .

If doctors are insistent on recommending scooters, they need to ensure that patients are also exercising adeqautely.
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