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JOURNAL ARTICLE

Glycaemic control and treatment of type 2 diabetes in adults aged 75 years or older

Antonio Rodriguez-Poncelas, Joan Barrot-de la-Puente, Gabriel Coll de Tuero, Carles López-Arpí, Bogdan Vlacho, Flora Lopéz-Simarro, Xavier Mundet Tudurí, Josep Franch-Nadal
International Journal of Clinical Practice 2018, 72 (3): e13075
29512235

AIM: The aim of this study was to assess glycaemic control and prescribing practices of antihyperglycaemic treatment in patients with diabetes mellitus type 2 aged 75 years or older.

METHODS: We analysed data from health electronic records from 4,581 persons attended at primary healthcare centres of the Institut Català de la Salut (ICS), in the Girona Sud area of Catalonia, Spain, during 2013 and 2016. Variables such as age, gender, body mass index (BMI), diabetes duration, age at diabetes diagnosis, glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c), creatinine, glomerular filtrate rate and the albumin/creatinine ratio in urine were collected. A descriptive analysis of the study variables was done to determinate the percentage of persons on antidiabetic treatment.

RESULTS: We identified 4,421 persons aged 75 years or older who provided data on HbA1c and antidiabetic treatment. Mean age was 82.3 (5.1) years. In 58.1% of patients, the level of HbA1c was below 7.0%, while in 36.8% it was below 6.5%. Between patients with HbA1c below 7.0%, antidiabetic drugs were taken by 70.2%, where 15.2% were either on insulin, sulphonylureas or repaglinide therapy.

CONCLUSION: Intensive treatment among older adults with diabetes mellitus type 2 is common in primary care clinical practice in our area. Intensive glycaemic control confers an increased risk of hypoglycaemia and little benefit among older individuals with diabetes. Physicians should take care more not to harm those populations and treatment should be de-intensified to reduce the risk of hypoglycaemia.

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