Treating Type 2 diabetes in elderly and frail adults is focus of new guidance

Treating Type 2 diabetes in elderly and frail adults is focus of new guidance

New guidance has been published which focuses on how to manage the treatment of Type 2 diabetes in the elderly, including for the first time those who are particularly frail.

Produced from a collaboration between experts in diabetes medicine, geriatric medicine and primary care, the guidance will advise clinicians on helping older people with Type 2 diabetes get the most out of treatment options, as well when to stop treatments in particularly frail adults.

Commenting on the guidance, Dr David Strain at the University of Exeter Medical School, lead on the collaboration, said: “Older adults have been systematically excluded from clinical trials and have very different ambitions from their diabetes management.

“This guidance puts the older person with diabetes firmly back at the centre of target setting, ensuring that appropriate goals are agreed to achieve the best quality of life possible, without continuing treatments that would not provide any benefit and potentially cause harm.”

Improving GP care

The hope of report authors is that the new guidance will eventually be incorporated into national guidance for GPs in order to advise GPs on the management of Type 2 diabetes in elderly individuals, eventually reducing complications and improving quality of life.

Pav Kalsi, senior clinical advisor at Diabetes UK, added: “People with diabetes rightly deserve to have access to the right care and support at every stage of their life, and that means the care they receive needs to be adapted and tailored to suit each individual’s changing needs. For example, those who are elderly, and potentially frail, often have different priorities, such as safety and quality of life.

“We’re really pleased that these new guidelines will, for the first time, help healthcare professionals give this tailored support and will help them review and decide whether to stop diabetes treatment for particularly frail adults.

“In the future, we hope these guidelines will have a positive impact on the lives of older people with diabetes.”

The research was published in the journal of Diabetes UK, Diabetic Medicine.

Source: University of Exeter

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