Diabetes Mellitus in the Elderly

  • Nages Nagaratnam
  • Kujan Nagaratnam
  • Gary Cheuk
Reference work entry


Worldwide the incidence and prevalence of diabetes mellitus (DM) increase with age. With the adoption of the new diagnostic criteria and people living longer, the prevalence of DM is likely to increase. A new problem that is disturbing is the rise of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) in young people. This chapter provides an update on the mechanisms of action, use, contraindications and adverse effects of the medications used in the clinical management in DM. The elderly often do not present with usual classic symptoms of polyuria, polydipsia and polyphagia. They may present only with one or more of the geriatric syndromes, namely, falls, incontinence, decreased cognition or fatigue, lethargy or weight loss. The management of diabetes in the elderly is complex, but in general the principles of management are similar to that of younger patients.


Diabetes mellitus Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) Prevalence of DM Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) Hyperosmolar hyperglycaemic state (HHS) 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nages Nagaratnam
    • 1
  • Kujan Nagaratnam
    • 1
  • Gary Cheuk
    • 2
  1. 1.The University of SydneyWestmead Clinical SchoolWestmeadAustralia
  2. 2.Rehabilitation and Aged Care ServiceBlacktown-Mt Druitt HospitalMount DruittAustralia

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