Glycemic control of older adults with type 2 diabetes: findings from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1988-1994

J Am Geriatr Soc. 2000 Mar;48(3):264-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2000.tb02644.x.

Abstract

Background: Although nearly half of all people who have diabetes are aged 65 or older, glycemic control of older adults with diabetes has not been well described.

Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study of 1,482 participants with self-reported type 2 diabetes in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1988-1994 (NHANES III), a nationally representative sample of the US noninstitutionalized civilian population. Variables included in this analysis included age, sociodemographic factors, drug treatment, and level of glycemic control.

Results: The mean % (+/-SE) HbA1c was 7.78 +/- 0.21, 7.64 +/- 0.18, 7.71 +/- 0.14, and 7.27 +/- 0.14 in persons aged 20 to 54, 55 to 64, 65 to 74 and > or = 75 years, respectively. The mean mg/dL (+/-SE) fasting plasma glucose (FPG) was 175.9 +/- 7.6, 164.5 +/- 6.1, 183.3 +/- 5.3, and 158.5 +/- 5.5 in the four age groups and older, respectively. When controlling for race, gender, education, and duration of diabetes, age was not significantly associated with levels of HbA1c [P (trend) =0.17] or FPG [P (trend) =0.19]. Among NHANES III participants aged 65 or older, ADA guidelines for glycemic control (HbA1c < 7%) were achieved by 71%, 44%, and 27% of persons using no drug therapy, oral hypoglycemic agents, and insulin, respectively.

Conclusions: Although many older adults with type 2 diabetes do not achieve targets for glucose control, there is no evidence to suggest that community-dwelling older adults with diabetes are treated less vigorously than younger persons with diabetes.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / prevention & control
  • Female
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A / metabolism
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • United States / epidemiology

Substances

  • Blood Glucose
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Hypoglycemic Agents