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Time to rethink guidelines for seniors with diabetes?

March 15, 2016
by Nicole Stempak, Senior Editor
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Current recommendations may overlook the vulnerability of seniors with diabetes.

A new meta-review in Future Science OA examines the nature of diabetes and its effect as people age (and live longer). Researchers found the emergence of frailty may change Type 2 diabetes from a progressive to a regressive condition with increased risk of hypoglycemia.

However, current guidelines suggest a relaxed glycemic control in frail seniors with diabetes.

"Although guidelines have suggested a relaxed glycemic control in frail elderly with diabetes, this may not be enough and complete withdrawal of hypoglycemic medications may be necessary in these frail populations," says Ahmed H Abdelhafiz, FRCP, MD, corresponding study author, consulting physician and honorary senior clinical lecturer in the department of geriatric medicine at Rotherham General Hospital in a news release. "Normoglycemia has been shown in chronic wasting diseases and in frail populations, which led to safe and successful withdrawal of hypoglycemic medications. The main determinants of successful withdrawals of hypoglycemic medications were significant weight loss and development of multiple comorbidities including dementia.

"This review therefore outlines the importance of regular medications review with consideration of gradual reduction or complete withdrawal when frailty and signficiant weight loss emerge."

Read the review here

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