Type 2 Diabetes Risk in Older Adults Living in Social Housing: A Cross-Sectional Study
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OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to describe the risk of developing diabetes and the probable prevalence of diabetes and prediabetes in residents of subsidized or social housing who were 55 years of age or older. METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional study using data collected from an ongoing community health program in social housing buildings-the Community Paramedicine at Clinic (CP@clinic) program. Community paramedics staffing the CP@clinic program conducted lifestyle-related modifiable risk factor assessments of participating social housing residents who were 55 years of age or older. The Canadian Diabetes risk assessment (CANRISK) tool was administered to all participants, and those with moderate-to-high risk of developing diabetes were asked to return for a fasting capillary blood glucose (CBG) measurement. Data were collected from program participants who attended the sessions between December 2014 and May 2018. RESULTS: There were 728 participants. Most were women (80.5%), aged 65 to 84 (68.1%), white (85.4%) and educated to the high school level or less (69.2%). At baseline, 71.3% were identified as overweight or obese, and 12.5% were diagnosed with diabetes. Of participants not diagnosed with diabetes (N=632), 66.6% were at high risk of developing diabetes, and 30.1% were categorized as moderate risk. The CBG assessments showed that 37.7% (N=158) of those with high risk and 22.0% (N=42) of those with moderate risk had blood sugar readings indicating impaired fasting glucose or probable diabetes. CONCLUSIONS: This study shows that 96.7% of low-income older adults in social housing buildings had moderate-to-high risk of developing diabetes and that the probable prevalence of undiagnosed prediabetes and diabetes was 32.0%.
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