Prevention of Diabetes in High-risk Patient Populations, With Application to the Older Population

Ellie Chuang, MD and Mark E. Molitch, MD, Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Molecular Medicine, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL, USA.

The worldwide prevalence of diabetes is expected to double to 300 million people by 2025, and nearly 40% of those currently diabetic are older than 65 years. In those who are at high risk for diabetes, including older adults, intervention with diet and exercise has been shown to markedly reduce the development of diabetes. Medications such as metformin, acarbose, troglitazone, pravastatin, ramipril, losartan and estrogen/progestin also have been shown to be effective, although benefits in older patients have not always been demonstrated. Implementation of lifestyle changes in people of all ages could dramatically reduce the size of the developing diabetes epidemic.
Key words: diabetes, primary prevention, impaired glucose tolerance, impaired fasting glucose, older adults.