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Health burden of diabetes in Latin America and the Caribbean: Estimates of diabetes-free life expectancy, total life expectancy and healthy life expectancy by diabetic status

Flavia Andrade, MA, Sociology, Center for Demography and Ecology, University of Wisconsin Madison, 4412 Social Science Building, 1180 Observatory Drive, Madison, WI 53706, (212) 3580867, fandrade@ssc.wisc.edu

Given the high prevalence of diabetes in Latin America and the Caribbean, this paper estimates diabetes-free life expectancy for seven regions in Latin America and the Caribbean using data from two large surveys (Salud, Bienestar y Envejecimiento en América Latina y el Caribe Proyecto and Mexican Health and Aging Study). It also uses the Interpolation of Markov Chains method to investigate the differences in total life expectancy, disability-free life expectancy, and disabled life expectancy between diabetics and non-diabetics. Disability is assessed by difficulties performing one or more basic (ADL) or instrumental (IADL) activities of daily living and NAGI functions. Results show that elderly individuals are expected to live a large proportion of their lives with diabetes. For example, men and women at age 60 in Mexico City can expect to live about 20% of their remaining years of life with diabetes. Data from Mexico show that diabetes reduces total and active life expectancy (at age 50) in eight years. Diabetics are also more likely to live a higher percentage of their lives with functional disability – disabled life expectancy (measured by ADL) represents 17% of the remaining lives of diabetics and 12% of non-diabetics. Diabetes significantly shortens total and active life expectancy, which imposes considerable economic, social and individual costs. There is some evidence that changes in lifestyle, particularly on diet and exercise, can delay the onset of diabetes. Therefore, these societies should promote campaigns that emphasize that healthy eating and exercising can be translated in longer and more active lives.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Diabetes, Disability

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Not Answered

Perspectives on Chronic Disease and Aging

The 134th Annual Meeting & Exposition (November 4-8, 2006) of APHA