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A look at the wide-ranging complications of diabetes among older adults

The prevalence of Type 2 diabetes is projected to skyrocket among older adults in the next two decades. This trends places millions of older people at risk for serious and life-threatening complications, such as renal disease, retinopathy, heart disease and amputations. That can lead to reduced functioning, the need to enter an institution and higher mortality – with resulting higher costs to the health system.

By 2034, diabetes is expected to affect around 14.6 million Medicare-eligible individuals. Spending related to the disease among the Medicare-eligible population is projected to increase to $14.6 million by 2034, with associated spending nearly quadrupling from $45 billion in 2009 to $171 billion, according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA). 

Find out more about how diabetes can add to the complications of aging and some solid resources to consult for your stories.

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