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Journal of Aging Research
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 342650, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/342650
Review Article

A Growing Troubling Triad: Diabetes, Aging, and Falls

Center for Lower Extremity Ambulatory Research (CLEAR), Dr. William M. Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, 3333 Green Bay Road, North Chicago, IL 60064, USA

Received 5 December 2012; Accepted 11 January 2013

Academic Editor: Neil D. Reeves

Copyright © 2013 Ryan T. Crews et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

There is a significant and troubling link between diabetes (DM) and falls in the elderly. Individuals with DM are prone to fall for reasons such as decreased sensorimotor function, musculoskeletal/neuromuscular deficits, foot and body pain, pharmacological complications, and specialty (offloading) footwear devices. Additionally, there is some concern that DM patients are prone to have more severe problems with falls than non-DM individuals. Fractures, poorer rehabilitation, and increased number of falls are all concerns. Fortunately, efforts to mitigate falls by DM patients show promise. A number of studies have shown that balance, strength, and gait training may be utilized to successfully reduce fall risk in this population. Furthermore, new technologies such as virtual reality proprioceptive training may be able to provide this reduced risk within a safe training environment.