J Korean Diabetes.  2011 Dec;12(4):205-210. 10.4093/jkd.2011.12.4.205.

Drug Therapy of Elderly Diabetic Patients

  • 1Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, Soonchunhyang University College of Medicine, Bucheon, Korea. hanna@schmc.ac.kr


The elderly population has recently increased significantly, and therefore the number of elderly patients with diabetes is also rapidly increasing. There are many physical, mental, and societal differences among elderly diabetic patients. Therefore, before initiating any form of glucose-lowering therapy in the elderly, it is necessary to assess overall patient health status, coexisting illnesses, the social environment, and degree of cognitive function. The elderly may also be at increased risk of adverse events, particularly hypoglycemia, during drug therapy for glucose control. Glucose control should remain an individualized target while minimizing the risk of hypoglycemia in elderly diabetic patients. This article summarizes treatment options with respect to oral glucose-lowering agents and insulins that are effective in elderly patients.


Drug therapy; Aged; Diabetes mellitus
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