Diabetes in the elderly population

M. A. Khan, Allan J Collins, W. F. Keane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Type 2 diabetes mellitus has emerged as an important condition of older patients in which both microvascular and macrovascular complications are a common cause of morbidity and mortality. In contrast to type 1 diabetes mellitus, this endocrinopathy is clustered in minority populations and has both strong genetic and environmental factors that influence disease manifestation. A number of physiological alterations of glucose metabolism including hepatic overproduction of glucose, and reduced glucose utilization by peripheral tissues as a result of insulin resistance contribute to the development of the metabolic manifestations of this disease. Ultimately, pancreatic failure and reduced insulin secretion lead to hyperglycemia and the diabetic state. Frequently, many of these metabolic manifestations, or what has been termed Syndrome X, antecede the development of overt diabetes by many years. This syndrome is manifest clinically by such cardiovascular risk factors as hypertension, dyslipidemia, and coagulation abnormalities. This abnormal metabolic milieu contributes to the high prevalence of macrovascular complications including coronary artery disease as well as more generalized atherosclerosis. Microvascular complications have only more recently been recognized as an important and frequent complication of type 2 diabetes. Among the elderly and minority populations, this has become the single most important cause of end-stage renal failure that necessitates renal replacement therapies. The outcome for these patients on hemodialysis, the modality most frequently selected, is poor, with the majority of these patients dying of cardiovascular causes. Unfortunately, interventional strategies to reduce or prevent the microvascular and macrovascular complications have only recently received the needed attention and will require considerable effort and resources to improve the clinical outcomes and life expectancies for these patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)32-51
Number of pages20
JournalAdvances in Renal Replacement Therapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2000


  • Diabetes mellitus
  • ESRD
  • Insulin resistance
  • Renal disease


Dive into the research topics of 'Diabetes in the elderly population'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this