Diabetes ups likelihood of disability by 50% to 80%

The meta-analysis of 26 studies showed that having diabetes increased the odds of having a disability that impeded mobility by 71% and the relative risk by 51%, compared with people without diabetes.

Diabetes increased by 82% both the odds and relative risk of disability in activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, eating and walking across a room.

Having diabetes also increased the odds of disability by 65% for instrumental activities of daily living, such as using the phone, shopping and using transport.

Study lead Dr Anna Peeters, from the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute said it was possible high blood glucose concentrations might lead to chronic muscle inflammation, eventually resulting in physical disability.

“Some studies have shown that diabetes is associated with rapid and worsening muscle wasting,” she said.