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Family Health: Disability Dangers for Diabetes Sufferers

The disease could keep you from being able to move around, perform other functions.
A new study finds people with diabetes face a significantly increased risk for disability.

Researchers in Australia analyzed data from 26 studies. They found people with diabetes have a 50-to-80-percent increased risk for disability -- everything from trouble moving around to difficulty bathing and eating.

Researchers are not sure what's causing this increased risk -- but they say the frequent spikes in blood sugar could cause muscle cells to deteriorate. Following a healthy lifestyle could help older adults avoid disabilities.

A study of nearly 4,000 older adults finds people who were not physically active had a 72-percent increased risk of disability. People who ate less than one serving of fruits and vegetables a day -- and those who smoked -- also had an increased risk.

Participants who had all three unhealthy habits were two times more likely to be disabled by the end of the 12-year study.

Meanwhile, most doctors feel it is their responsibility to try to contain healthcare costs. Twenty-five hundred physicians responded to a survey sent out by the Mayo Clinic.

Eighty-five percent said they agree that doctors have a responsibility to contain healthcare costs -- but most said they would put a patient's best interest above the cost of a test or medicine. Two-thirds were happy to coordinate their care of chronic diseases with each patient -- but many were not happy about eliminating fee-for-service payment methods.

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