The global prevalence of diabetes has increased substantially in recent years, attributable to an increase in new cases and declining mortality. Aging is associated with changes in beta cell function and insulin resistance that predispose to diabetes. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death among older adults with diabetes. In order to reduce the excessive risk of cardiovascular disease, all coronary risk factors must be addressed and treated aggressively. This article will focus on the importance of blood pressure and glycemic control and lipid lowering with statin therapy. Specific considerations in this patient population include high rates of comorbid disease, shorter life expectancy, polypharmacy and falls risk. These factors may alter the therapeutic goals. Treatment should therefore be individualized with consideration given to patient preference and quality of life.
Key words: diabetes, cardiovascular disease, older adults, metabolic syndrome.