Endocr Pract. 2017 Sep;23(9):1117-1139. doi: 10.4158/EP171794.RA. Epub 2017 Jul 13.


KEY POINTS Falls are a major health issue for older adults, leading to adverse events and even death. Older persons with type 2 diabetes are at increased risk of falling compared to healthy adults of a similar age. Over 400 factors are associated with falls risk, making identification and targeting of key factors to prevent falls problematic. However, the major risk factors include hypertension, diabetes, pain, and polypharmacy. In addition to age and polypharmacy, diabetes-related loss of strength, sensory perception, and balance secondary to peripheral neuropathy along with decline in cognitive function lead to increased risk of falling. Designing specific interventions to target strength and balance training, reducing polypharmacy to improve cognitive function, relaxation of diabetes management to avoid hypoglycemia and hypotension, and relief of pain will produce the greatest benefit for reducing falls in older persons with diabetes. Abbreviation: DPN = diabetic polyneuropathy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls*
  • Aging*
  • Cognition
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / complications*
  • Gait
  • Humans
  • Polypharmacy
  • Postural Balance