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Substantial Survival for Older Adults With Diabetes

Five-year survival exceeds 50 percent for most adults over age 50, regardless of health status

THURSDAY, May 10 (HealthDay News) -- Middle-aged and older adults with diabetes have substantial five-year survival, with survival exceeding 50 percent for almost all age and clinical groups, according to a study published online April 6 in The Journals of Gerontology: Series A.

Christine T. Cigolle, M.D., M.P.H., of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and colleagues used 2004 to 2008 data from the Health and Retirement Study and the supplemental Health and Retirement Study 2003 Diabetes Study involving 3,507 adults aged 51 years and older to evaluate the effect of diabetes on mortality. Participants were classified as being relatively healthy, having characteristics likely to make self-management of diabetes difficult, or as having poor health status, with uncertain benefits of current management targets.

The researchers found that the five-year survival probabilities were 90.8 for the relatively healthy group; 79.4 percent for the self-management difficulty group; and 52.5 percent for those in the uncertain benefits group. Five-year survival exceeded 50 percent for all middle-aged and older adults with diabetes from all age and clinical groups, except for those aged 76 years or older from the uncertain benefits group.

"We went into this thinking that people in the limited health group would have substantial mortality but with the exception of patients over age 76 with the poorest health status, all showed strong survival rates," Cigolle said in a statement.

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