The effect of frailty should be considered in the management plan of older people with Type 2 diabetes

Future Sci OA. 2016 Feb 12;2(1):FSO102. doi: 10.4155/fsoa-2015-0016. eCollection 2016 Mar.


The prevalence of diabetes is increasing especially in older age due to increased life expectancy. In old age, diabetes is associated with high comorbidity burden and increased prevalence of geriatric syndromes including frailty in addition to micro- and macro-vascular complications. The emergence of frailty may change the natural history of Type 2 diabetes from a progressive to a regressive course with increased risk of hypoglycemia. This may result in normalization of blood glucose levels and lead to a state of burnt-out diabetes in frail older people with significant weight loss. Although guidelines suggest relaxed glycemic control in frail elderly with diabetes, complete withdrawal of hypoglycemic medications may be necessary in these frail populations to reduce the risk of hypoglycemia.

Keywords: Type 2 diabetes; frailty; hypoglycemia; older people.

Publication types

  • Review