Management of type 2 diabetes mellitus in the elderly: role of the pharmacist in a multidisciplinary health care team
Department of Veterans Affairs, New York Harbor Healthcare System, New York, NY, USA; Diabetes Care On-The-Go Inc, Brooklyn, NY, USA; Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing, Hunter College, City University of New York, New York, NY, USA; Arnold and Marie Schwartz College of Pharmacy of Long Island University, Brooklyn, NY, USA; Garden State Association of Diabetes Educators, Edison, NJ, USA
Abstract: Intensive glycemic control using insulin therapy may be appropriate for many healthy older adults to reduce premature mortality and morbidity, improve quality of life, and reduce health care costs. However, frail elderly people are more prone to develop complications from hypoglycemia, such as confusion and dementia. Overall, older persons with type 2 diabetes mellitus are at greater risk of death from cardiovascular disease (CVD) than from intermittent hyperglycemia; therefore, diabetes management should always include CVD prevention and treatment in this patient population. Pharmacists can provide a comprehensive medication review with subsequent recommendations to individualize therapy based on medical and cognitive status. As part of the patient’s health care team, pharmacists can provide continuity of care and communication with other members of the patient’s health care team. In addition, pharmacists can act as educators and patient advocates and establish patient-specific goals to increase medication effectiveness, adherence to a medication regimen, and minimize the likelihood of adverse events.
Keywords: glycemic control, hyperglycemia, continuity of care, hypertension and cardiovascular disease, elderly, type 2 diabetes, pharmacist
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