LONDON, March 6, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
The Institute of Diabetes for Older People (IDOP) has today launched the 'European Diabetes Working Party for Older People 2011 Clinical Guidelines for Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (EDWPOP)', aimed at supporting clinical decisions and improving the quality of care for millions of older people with diabetes and averting a care crisis across the region.
Diabetes has quickly become one of the most concerning health epidemics in Europe. In 2010 over 54.4 million people were diagnosed with diabetes and this staggering figure is expected to increase to 66.5 million by 2030, and over half of those are thought to be over 60 years of age.
The change in demographic will produce a wave of older people with diabetes up to 2030 and beyond, which will significantly stretch public health resources. Current EU spending on diabetes is €80 billion, which is equivalent to 10% of total healthcare expenditure. This figure is expected to soar to €94 billion by 2030.
"If nothing is done now to improve the care of older people with type 2 diabetes, the effect on patients and healthcare systems across Europe could be catastrophic. Particularly at risk are countries that have national health systems, such as the UK, for which the diabetes timebomb could potentially bankrupt the already stretched service," says Professor Alan Sinclair, Director of IDOP.
The EDWPOP guidelines have been launched to address care gaps identified in a Position Statement developed by the International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics (IAGG), the European Diabetes Working Party for Older People (EDWPOP), and the International Task Force of Experts in Diabetes.
The collaborative expert group explored the key issues that affect diabetes in older people using a rigorous consensus approach along with an evidence-based review of literature.
The Position Statement identified a need for specific guidelines as existing guidelines do not focus on the needs of older people, including:
- The use of exercise-, nutrition-, and glucose-lowering therapies in the effective management of type 2 diabetes in older people
- Practical community-based interventions to reduce hospitalisation
- Methods to decrease hypoglycaemia rates in various clinical settings
- Health economic evaluations of metabolic treatment
- Interventions to delay/prevent diabetes-related complications that are important in older age, such as cognitive impairment and functional dependence
- Development of technical devices that help to maintain autonomy and safety for older people with diabetes
"Most European guidelines ignore the unique need for care and dependency that is required by ageing patients with diabetes, and these new guidelines outline practical care recommendations that can be adhered to by healthcare professionals throughout Europe," says Professor Sinclair.
Caring for the older person with diabetes
The effective management of the older patient with diabetes requires an emphasis on safety, diabetes prevention, early treatment for vascular disease and functional assessment of disability because of limb problems, eye disease and stroke. Additionally, in older age, prevention and management of other diabetes-related complications and associated conditions such as frailty, cognitive dysfunction, functional dependence and depression, become a priority.
The EDWPOP guidelines provide:
The EDWPOP guidelines provide an evidence-based and detailed summary of what healthcare professionals across Europe should be doing now to give patients the best diabetes care possible. They include:
- An evidence-based review of treatment for older people with diabetes, and are intended as a resource for clinical decision-making
- A user-friendly set of recommendations for primary care, the community and secondary care settings
- Guidance in 18 areas of clinical interest, such as screening and diagnosis, prevention, secondary complications, hypoglycaemia, cognitive impairment, falls and immobility
Notes to Editors:
The original European Diabetes Working Party for Older People (EDWPOP) was established in December 2000 to ensure that older people in societies across the European Union have consistent and high quality diabetes care throughout their lives.
About the Institute of Diabetes for Older People
IDOP is a non-profit making, research and academic institution, based at the University of Bedfordshire, dedicated to enhancing the health and well-being of all older people with diabetes and related metabolic illness.
1. Shaw JE, Sicree RA, Zimmet PZ. Global estimates of the prevalence of diabetes for 2010 and 2030. Diab Res Clin Prac 2010;7:4-14.
2. Zhang P, Zhang X, Brown J, Vistisen D, Sicree R, Shaw J, et al. Global Healthcare expenditure on diabetes for 2010 and 2030. Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice 2010;87:293-301.
SOURCE Institute of Diabetes for Older People (IDOP)