Diabetes Mellitus

DIABETES AND MIDDLE – AGED ADULTS

type 2 diabetes
Written by StopDiabetes

What is the average life expectancy of a person with type 1 diabetes?

According to a study conducted in 2012, men with type 1 diabetes had an average life expectancy of about 66 years versus 77 years among men without it. Women with type 1 diabetes had an average life expectancy of about 68 years compared with around 81 years for those without type 1 diabetes. Of course, these are merely statistics, as many men and women with type 1 diabetes live well into their eighties, nineties, and even past the century mark.

What study connected type 2 diabetes with female puberty?

In research conducted in 2013, scientists studied more than 15,000 middle-aged women from eight countries in Europe, asking when the women started their periods. On the basis of their statistics, they determined that women who began menstruating between the ages of 8 and 11 years had a 70 percent greater chance of developing type 2 diabetes in adulthood than those who started their periods at the average age of 13. When the women’s BMI (body mass index; for more about BMI, see the chapter “Diabetes and Obesity”) was taken out of the equation, only about 42 percent had a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes if they began menstruating at an early age. Although the researchers believe that early puberty in women somehow affects the women’s diabetes risk (no matter what the weight), it seems this study also does not factor in lifestyles or medical histories—thus the results are highly debated.

What percentage of adults develop type 1 diabetes?

Although type 1 diabetes is commonly diagnosed in childhood, around 25 percent of people with type 1 diabetes are diagnosed as adults, some even into their nineties. If an adult develops type 1 diabetes, the symptoms usually occur suddenly and are similar to those symptoms in children who develop the disease. These include weight loss, nausea, constant thirst, and urination. (For more about type 1 diabetes in adults, see the chapter “Type 1 Diabetes.”)

Does type 2 diabetes occur suddenly in middle-aged adults?

No, a person develops type 2 diabetes gradually over a number of years—at middle age or any age. Internally, it usually begins when muscle and other cells in the body stop responding to insulin. The reason it seems to occur more often in middle-aged adults is that it develops gradually and because more middle-aged people develop problems with weight gain, blood pressure, and other conditions that can lead to type 2 diabetes.

What is the average age a person is diagnosed with type 2 diabetes?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were a total of 1.7 million new total diabetes cases in 2012 (the latest data available). In addition, adults (both male and female) ages 45 to 64 were the most-diagnosed age group for type 2 diabetes.

How does type 2 diabetes affect the life expectancy of a person with the disease?

According to several studies, type 2 diabetes cuts about eight and a half to ten years off the life of the average 50-year-old person (male and female) compared with a 50-yearold without the disease. (These numbers often differ for type 2 diabetes because of gender, how healthy the person is before the diagnosis, and lifestyle differences, such as smoking, blood pressure, etc.) Of course, these are merely statistics, as many men and women with type 2 diabetes live well into their eighties, nineties, and beyond.

Is there a connection between diabetes and the metabolic syndrome?

Many health care professionals believe there is a definite connection between diabetes (especially type 2) and what is called the metabolic syndrome. This condition is found mostly in adults, usually beginning at middle age. The syndrome includes several symptoms, including large waist measurement, abnormal blood fats, elevated blood pressure, and glucose intolerance—all of which usually start to appear in middle age. (For more about the metabolic syndrome, see the chapter “Prediabetes and Type 2 Diabetes.”)

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