Diabetes Prevention in Older Adults
Vol. 19, No. 4, P. 30
With the introduction of the Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program, dietitians will have even more ammunition to help prevent this costly disease.
The number of people in the United States aged 65 and older is estimated to reach more than 98 million by 2060,1 and as this aging population continues to grow, there will be more cases of type 2 diabetes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) projects that the number of older individuals with diabetes will double or even triple by 2050, affecting one in three adults older than 65.2 In addition, more Medicare dollars are spent on beneficiaries with diabetes.3 The good news is type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed with appropriate lifestyle changes.
This article discusses the prevalence of diabetes and prediabetes in older adults, associated diabetes complications, the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) and Medicare DPP (MDPP), and strategies for nutrition professionals counseling older adults on diabetes prevention.
According to CDC projections, even if diabetes rates level off, the aging population will change the face of diabetes, and the incidence of diabetes will continue to grow. In fact, it's projected to double in the next 20 years.4
Diabetes is a costly disease—personally and economically. Older adults with diabetes experience diabetes complications such as lower-extremity amputation, myocardial infarction, visual impairment, and end-stage renal disease at rates higher than any age group.4 Those aged 75 and older are twice as likely to visit Continue reading