Older individuals suffering from complications of type 2 diabetes are at increased risk of falling, researchers found.


Ann V. Schwartz, PhD, of the University of California in San Francisco, and her colleagues studied 446 type 2 diabetics with a mean age 73.6 years. The average follow-up was about five years.

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Higher cystatin-C levels (a marker of decreased renal function), reduced peroneal nerve response magnitude, and poorer contrast sensitivity increased the risk of falling, investigators reported in Diabetes Care (2008;31:391-396). Insulin users with tight blood glucose control (hemoglobin A1c of 6% or below) also were at increased risk.


Achieving lower HbA1c levels with oral hypoglycemic agents was not associated with more frequent falls.