Research Paper Volume 6, Issue 3 pp 187—206
Optimal therapy of type 2 diabetes: a controversial challenge
- 1 Department of Clinical & Experimental Medicine, Section of Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases, University of Pisa, Via Paradisa 2, 56124, Pisa, Italy
received: January 28, 2014 ; accepted: March 24, 2014 ; published: March 26, 2014 ;https://doi.org/10.18632/aging.100646
How to Cite
Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is one of the most common chronic disorders in older adults and the number of elderly diabetic subjects is growing worldwide. Nonetheless, the diagnosis of T2DM in elderly population is often missed or delayed until an acute metabolic emergency occurs. Accumulating evidence suggests that both aging and environmental factors contribute to the high prevalence of diabetes in the elderly. Clinical management of T2DM in elderly subjects presents unique challenges because of the multifaceted geriatric scenario. Diabetes significantly lowers the chances of “successful” aging, notably it increases functional limitations and impairs quality of life. In this regard, older diabetic patients have a high burden of comorbidities, diabetes-related complications, physical disability, cognitive impairment and malnutrition, and they are more susceptible to the complications of dysglycemia and polypharmacy. Several national and international organizations have delivered guidelines to implement optimal therapy in older diabetic patients based on individualized treatment goals. This means appreciation of the heterogeneity of the disease as generated by life expectancy, functional reserve, social support, as well as personal preference. This paper will review current treatments for achieving glycemic targets in elderly diabetic patients, and discuss the potential role of emerging treatments in this patient population.