According to data from Kaiser Permanente and the University of Chicago, the length of time that an individual has had type 2 diabetes, as well as advanced age, are two key predictors of the severity and risk of death for people afflicted with the disease.
Elbert Huang, lead author and medical physician from the University of Chicago, stated the study was performed because too little is currently known about how age and the duration of having diabetes affect mortality levels.
"Many older patients are living longer with their diabetes, and longer duration of diabetes is associated with more complications and more difficulty with maintaining glycemic control," said Huang. "Understanding the contemporary clinical course of diabetes in older patients is the critical first step needed to individualize and prioritize care, and target support for future research efforts."
The health statistics of approximately 72,000 individuals over the age of 60 and with type 2 diabetes were analyzed for the study.