Drugs & Aging

, Volume 35, Issue 12, pp 1065–1078 | Cite as

Evidence-Based Management of Diabetes in Older Adults

  • Arshag D. MooradianEmail author
Review Article


The number of older adults with diabetes is rapidly increasing worldwide. A variety of factors contribute to the age-related increase in the incidence of diabetes. The lack of empiric evidence in the field has limited the management guidelines to mostly expert opinion. Given uncertainty over the rate at which to lower blood glucose levels and the optimal method of doing so, the goals of diabetes control in older people must be individualized. If the patient requires insulin therapy, the newer insulins, with their improved pharmacodynamic consistency and reduced risk of hypoglycemia, should be preferred. Several oral agents are preferable for people with sufficient endogenous insulin because they do not cause hypoglycemia when used as monotherapy. Some of these oral agents have been found to have cardioprotective effects. Older people with diabetes also require management of the other risk factors for cardiovascular disease, with antihypertensive drugs, cholesterol-lowering agents and low-dose aspirin. However, the precise targets for blood pressure control and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels continue to evolve as more data become available. Diabetes care in older adults should focus on enhancing the individual’s quality of life rather than trying to normalize blood glucose levels or reach predetermined blood pressure and LDL cholesterol targets.


Compliance with Ethical Standards


No sources of funding were used to conduct this study or prepare this manuscript.

Conflict of interest

Arshag D. Mooradian has no conflicts of interest that are directly relevant to the content of this article.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of MedicineUniversity of Florida College of MedicineJacksonvilleUSA

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