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Dangerous Falls Plague Senior Diabetics

With the links between diabetes and disease states such as obesity, Alzheimer's disease and depression so clear, it's no wonder senior diabetics -- particularly those living in a nursing home or assisted living setting -- are more prone to dangerous falls.

The numbers really speak for themselves: Out of 139 nursing home patients monitored for some 300 days, 78 percent of those who suffered from diabetes fell. Conversely, only 30 percent of residents without diabetes experienced a fall.

Why the increase in falls by diabetics? Researchers believe diabetic patients have problems with the peripheral nerves that affect sensations in their feet, thus making them far more likely to fall.

Falls are the leading cause of accidental death among seniors in this country (baby-boomers are starting to fear them too), but they can be avoidable.

Probably the best way to prevent falls is one of the simplest: Get moving on an exercise program today! If you need some guidance on how to get started, I recommend reviewing Paul Chek's awesome piece on balance training for the elderly.

Yahoo News September 30, 2005

Journals of Gerontology, Vol. 60, No. 9, September 2005: 1157-1162

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