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The Prevalence of Diabetes in the Elderly From 2000 to 2009

The elderly populace is generally predisposed to numerous non-communicable diseases such as diabetes. Owing to a lack of vital knowledge concerning these diseases and the risk factors associated with them, the menace associated with such ailments has heightened leading to its puffiness impediment and transience. The endeavor of this review is to determine the occurrence of diabetes in the American populace for the period spanning 2000 to 2009. In order to achieve the study objectively, the scholar delves into a systematic analysis of the previously conducted researches, data deduced from medical journals and statistical bureaus together with the information provided by the American Diabetes Association for exhaustive information. The rationale of this research is to establish the rate of diabetes prevalence amongst elderly people and to find out the imminent risk factors associated with the ailment.

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According to National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) and the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) Diabetes marred with its numerous complications is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States and contribute substantially to healthcare costs (NHIS, 2009). There are innumerable side effects associated with diabetes, mainly affecting the nervous system, the kidneys, the eyes and the cardiovascular system. There is a big correlation between the risk factors associated with diabetes and the incidences of its occurrence; the more the number of risk factors presented in an individual, the greater the chance of that individual developing or having diabetes (Sullivan, 2008).

There are generally three types of diabetes; the first type comes as a result of the body malfunction leading to production of deficient insulin. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas for the purposes of controlling the sugar levels in the blood. When the body is unable to produce enough insulin the sugar levels in the blood are not checked hence the optimum sugar balance in the body is not maintained and this causes the sugar levels to fluctuate. This kind of diabetes appears before the age of 40 and it’s medically termed as juvenile diabetes (Knowler&Fowler, 2002). The second type of diabetes occurs as a result of body’s inability to produce enough insulin, or its failure to effectively utilize the insulin produced. It is the most common and accounts for 90% of the US diabetes victims (NHIS, 2009). The risk of developing type 2 diabetes increases with age, obesity and lack of physical activity it is also commonly found in individuals with a family history of the disease (Edge, 1997).

During the gestation period, some expectant mother develops some special kind of diabetes termed gestational diabetes owing to the high levels of glucose in their blood. This happens because during pregnancy the women’s bodies are unable to produce enough insulin to cope up with the demands exerted on the body during pregnancy. This kind of diabetes is not common, it affects one woman in every 20 pregnancies and it usually disappears after birth. The easiest way to avoid the occurrence of diabetes is by constantly managing the body weight and conducting rigorous physical activities.

The unremitting kind of diabetes generally known as type two diabetes spawns such side effects as kidney dysfunction, causing damage to the nerves and the eyes, the heart is also chronically affected together with the blood vessels (Sullivan, 2008). Notably, the victims suffering from type 2 have a momentous higher risk of getting a stroke, coronary heart disease, and peripheral vascular disease as compared to non-diabetic individuals. When an individual is detected in advance they stand a better chance to contain and combat the complications associated with diabetes. It is therefore very important for every individual to go for screening early before there are warring trends in their weight gain or loss (Jankowski, 2003).

The most topical data in relation to diabetes prevalence in the US was spawned in the year 2007 by the American Diabetes Association. Not only does the data probe into effects of diabetes in relation to the elderly populace but it also illuminates the other facets of the society such as the youth the new cases and also the under twenty victims of the illness. As at 2007, when the last study was conducted in relation to diabetes prevalence a total of 23.6 million people including adults and children in the US was suffering from diabetes, this interprets to a whopping 7.8 % of the total citizenry. it’s expected that by the year 2025 diabetes prevalence will rise to 9% (American Diabetes Association, 2007). From the same study, it was ascertained that the elderly populace constituting of community members aged sixty years and above, 12.2 million was living with diabetes, this interprets 23.1% of the overall age bracket (American Diabetes Association, 2007). This is an indicator that the austerely affected group constitutes of the elderly people of the society.

On the global scope, diabetes has had its upsetting impacts on both developed and developing countries. A report spawned by World Health Organization (WHO) in 2004 shows a noticeable increase in the number of diabetic victims and the most alarming forecast state that it is likely to grow in geometric ratio in the near future(WHO,2004). The brunt of this swell is likely to garner adverse implications on the developing countries with more than 200% increase in India and Africa while the developed countries are going to have a relatively paltry increase in numbers of around 45 %( IDF, 2009). In the modern world there is a consistency that developed countries are more implicated by diabetes as compared to the developing countries. A case scenario is highlighted by The Indian Task Force, whereby an NGO by the name Diabetes Care recorded153.9 million diabetes cases at the same time giving estimates that by the year 2025 the number will be 299.1 million (WHO, 2004)

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On the other hand, diabetes an acute long term malady with numerous disorders is gnawing in the African continent. World Health Organization has estimated that currently, more than seven million Africans are diabetic. Diabetes is the fourth ranked killer ailment in the continent in a scientific language; one can say that Africa is dealing with a pandemic. At its level the pandemic calls for more than individual health observation, it calls for formation of health care systems well designed to make diabetes care both available and affordable to all the diabetes victims. The International Federation of Diabetics (I) shows perturbing projections that by the year 2030 the percentage of Africans living with diabetes will shoot to an alarming 3% as compared to the current 0.5% of the African populace (IDF, 2009).

In most cases diabetes is not detected until its complications take root in an individual. Research generated by American Diabetes Association established that in the US, one-third of all people with diabetes may be undiagnosed (Edge, 1997). Even though people are well aware of the burden associated with diabetes there are very few individuals who are cautious enough to watch their weight and go for screening when they notice some warring trends in their health. The medical practitioners should remain vigilant while they evaluate any clinical presentations which may suggest that an individual is suffering from diabetes to ensure that the disease is combated at its earliest stage.


American Diabetic Association (2009). “Standards of medical care for patients with diabetes mellitus (Position Statement). Diabetes Care 25(Supply. 2):23–39, 2009.

Edge, C. (1997). Control Of Blood Glucose In A Group Of Diabetic Victims. Hyperbar. Medical journal. 22(6), 20-27.

International Diabetes Federation (2009). Prevalence of diabetes in OECD countries, 2008. Web.

Jankowski K. (2003). Diabetes and The Controversial Contraindication. Sources, 3RD Quarter, 20-23.

Knowler WC, Fowler SE (2002). Reduction in the incidence of type 2 diabetes with lifestyle intervention. England Medical Journal 2002; 34:39.

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National Health Interview Survey (2009). Diabetes Prevalence. Web.

Sullivan LM (2008). Genotype score in addition to common risk factors for prediction of type 2 diabetes. Pub Med 2008; 349:2218-2223.

World Health Organization (WHO) (2004). Diabetes Programme: Global Prevalence of Diabetes Estimations for the year 2000 and projections for 2030. Web.

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