Insulin Treatment Risk?

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Older women who take insulin are more likely to fall than women who don’t have diabetes or women who take oral medications to treat their diabetes, according to a multicenter prospective study of 1,640 women ages 67 and older.

Of the total, 629 of the women (6.8 percent) reported having diabetes, and 99 of those used insulin. Over an average 7.2 years, the age-adjusted risk of falling was 2.78 for those who took insulin and 1.68 for those who had diabetes but did not take insulin, measured against women in the study who did not report having diabetes.

While women with diabetes were also more likely to have increased risk factors for falls for other reasons, the researchers suggest that more findings are needed to determine whether the type of diabetes treatment itself contributes to the risk of falls.

Risk factors for falls include poor balance, arthritis, heart disease, depression, poor vision and use of medication for sleeplessness or anxiety.

Diabetes Care, October 2002

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