People aged 80 or over with diabetes and other stories

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h3206 (Published 18 June 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h3206

Very few diabetes trials have ever included people aged 80 years or older. Yet a search of the UK Clinical Practice Research Datalink between 1990 and 2013 identified 12 881 people who were newly diagnosed with diabetes in that age group and who were given drug treatment (Age Ageing 2015, doi:10.1093/ageing/afv065). Although the number of prescriptions increased during that period, there was a large drop in prescriptions for sulfonylureas. Type 2 diabetes is a risk state for which the benefit of treatment tails off with age, and doctors can’t discuss this with patients over 80 because there is no evidence to discuss.

Good doctors try to find out patient preferences and discuss treatment options wherever they practise, and that includes China. And patients everywhere differ in the degree to which they can or want to be involved in choices. Patients with advanced gastrointestinal malignancies and their caregivers were enrolled in a study of shared …

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