TITLE

Special considerations for treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus in the elderly

AUTHOR(S)
Fravel, Michelle A.; McDanel, Deanna L.; Ross, Mary B.; Moores, Kevin G.; Starry, Mary J.
PUB. DATE
March 2011
SOURCE
American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy;3/15/2011, Vol. 68 Issue 6, p500
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Purpose. The intensity and selection of therapy for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus in elderly patients are discussed. Summary. Glycemic control is fundamental in diabetes care; however, as glycemic goals are approached, the risk of hypoglycemia increases. This risk is even greater in the elderly due to many predisposing factors, including renal insufficiency, polypharmacy, drug-drug interactions, comorbidities, irregular meal patterns, and infrequent self-monitoring of blood glucose. When deciding on the desired intensity of diabetes treatment, the risk of hypoglycemic complications must be weighed against the potential benefit of reducing microvascular and macrovascular complications. Three large-scale, randomized controlled trials examining the effects of intensive versus standard glycemic control on microvascular and macrovascular outcomes in patients with type 2 diabetes have been published in recent years. In general, a glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) goal of <7% is reasonable for most patients. A less-aggressive goal may be considered for patients at high risk of hypoglycemia or high risk of complications from hypoglycemia, as long as acutely symptomatic hyperglycemia is avoided. Chlorpropamide, glyburide, and rosiglitazone, which pose a great risk for hypoglycemia, should be avoided in the elderly. Conclusion. In the absence of clear evidence advocating strict glycemic targets for elderly patients, an HbA1c goal of <7% is reasonable for most patients; however, the risk of hypoglycemic complications must be weighed against the potential benefit of reducing microvascular and macrovascular disease. Metformin may be used as first-line therapy, but chlorpropamide and glyburide, which pose a great risk for hypoglycemia, should be avoided in the elderly. Due to increased cardiovascular risk, use of rosiglitazone in the elderly should also be avoided.
ACCESSION #
59681772

 

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