You’ve probably heard of diabetes—but what about prediabetes? Prediabetes is a condition where blood sugar levels are high, but not high enough to qualify as diabetes. While almost half of older adults have prediabetes, nearly nine out of ten don’t know they have it. That’s why having this conversation is so important.
Nearly half (48 percent) of U.S. adults ages 65 and older have pre-diabetes, meaning their blood sugar levels are high enough to put them at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is associated with a host of health complications, including stroke, kidney disease, blindness, and even amputations of the legs and feet.
Diabetes among older adults is associated with significant health and cost burdens. Nearly a quarter of individuals age 65 and older have been diagnosed with diabetes, and one of every three Medicare dollars is spent on beneficiaries living with the condition. An estimated one-half of the Medicare population is prediabetic, meaning their blood sugar levels are high but not high enough to warrant a diabetes diagnosis.
There’s a special connection that comes with preparing meals for others too heartbroken to cook for themselves. Making those dinners with a group of volunteers brings an intimacy and humility that cannot be matched. And one of the best spots I know to do that is at the Ronald McDonald House in Falls Church, Va., a place that offers comfort, refuge and care for families whose children are battling life-threatening illnesses.
America’s boomers just got a 10-year health checkup, and the diagnosis is mixed: More are dealing with chronic conditions, especially high blood pressure and high cholesterol, but fewer are dying from cancer and heart disease, thanks to recent medical advances.
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