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Diabetes and the older person

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Alison Yarnall, Dr Deborah Mayne, Dr Terry AsprayORCiD


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The prevalence of type 2 diabetes increases with age and is set to increase further over the next 20 years. Despite a quarter of diabetic patients being over the age of 75 years, there is a paucity of trial data in older patients. In this article we review drug and insulin treatments, old and new, presenting recent trial evidence, particularly related to thiazolidinediones and the newest anti-diabetic drugs: the incretins. We also discuss the challenge of current guidelines, which recommend strict control of glucose, lipids, and blood pressure, which must be balanced against risks of polypharmacy, drug side-effects and impairments both cognitive and physical. Diabetic emergencies are also discussed in this review, including the diagnosis and management of hyperglycaemic hyperosmolar state, ketosis and hypoglycaemia. This article finishes with a section on diabetic complications and their treatment. © 2008 Rila Publications Ltd.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Yarnall A, Mayne D, Aspray T

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: CME Geriatric Medicine

Year: 2008

Volume: 10

Issue: 1

Pages: 20-34

Print publication date: 01/01/2008

ISSN (print): 1475-1453

ISSN (electronic):