Question:How does diabetes affect the speed of aging?
Answer:When I first began doing research in the diabetes-related arena, diabetes was considered to be a premature aging process. In other words, for someone 35 years of age with diabetes versus someone with 35 without diabetes, it may have been felt that patient with diabetes may actually have been 45 in terms of their actual physical age. But we now know with more aggressive management of diabetes and risk factors that relate to the complications of diabetes, we no longer consider diabetes as premature aging.
Of course, note the condition; the condition is more aggressive management of diabetes and related conditions to prevent the premature aging process. I think the good news now is that patients with diabetes, whether type 1 from an early age on or type 2 developed during adulthood, can live as nearly as long, if not as long, as patients without diabetes.