A comparison on insulin regimen treatment of elderly (>70 years) and younger (<70 years) type 2 diabetic patients in actual clinical practice
The incidence of type 2 diabetes mellitus increases with age. However, there are few data about the most adequate type of insulin, or the most adequate insulin regimen, for elderly patients with diabetes. The present study compared insulin regimens in patients aged more than 70 years (100 subjects) with those aged less than 70 years (73 subjects) who attended a diabetes outpatient clinic. The weight, body mass index, diabetes-associated chronic complications, other cardiovascular risk factors, type of insulin, insulin regimen, total daily dose of insulin, weight-adjusted total daily dose of insulin, concomitant treatment with oral hypoglycaemic agents (OHA) and glycosylated haemoglobin (HbA1c) were compared between the two groups. Although both groups had the same level of metabolic control (HbA1c: 7.66 ± 0.91 in the elderly group vs. 7.62 ± 0.96 in the younger group), we have found that elderly subjects were more likely to be treated with a simple regimen, as shown by a higher use of basal insulin (15% in young patients and 41% in the elderly group; P < 0.001), lower use of fast-acting insulin (32.8% vs. 15%; P = 0.005), and fewer daily injections (45% vs. 22% received at least three injections each day; P = 0.001). There were no differences in the use of OHA; however, the majority of young patients were treated with metformin, whereas repaglinide was most commonly used in the elderly group. In conclusion, in everyday clinical practice, elderly subjects were treated with the simplest regimen and achieved the same level of metabolic control as young diabetic patients.