A new study by the Office of Population Research at Princeton University has found that a 50-year-old with diabetes can expect to live 8.5 years less, on average, than a 50-year-old without the condition. The findings, from data provided by the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) in the US, also showed that older adults suffering from diabetes have a lower life expectancy at every age than those without it.
Although patients with diabetes do live longer than they used to thanks to improvements in medical practices, the findings for those with diabetes is not positive in the US, especially as there has been a significant increase in the percentage of adults over 50 with diabetes in the last 10 years. This has risen from 11 per cent of non-Hispanic whites in 1998 to 18 per cent in 2008, and from 22 per cent of non-Hispanic blacks in 1998 to 32 per cent in 2008.
Greg O’Neill, director of the National Academy on an Aging Society, which commissioned the report, commented “Given the rise in diabetes among boomers and seniors, these findings are alarming. They paint a stark picture of the impact of diabetes and its complications on healthy aging.”
The report, ‘Profiles of an Aging Society: Diabetes’, also revealed that diabetics are less likely to be in work and more likely to have other health problems, than older adults without diabetes. It focused on data collected biannually between 1998 and 2008 on around 20,000 adults over the age of 50 in 1998.

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