Background: Targeting better HbA1c and blood pressure (BP) goals may endanger older adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) for a number of risks. Overtreatment of T2DM and hypertension (HTN) is a trending issue but awareness and attitudes of physicians need to be explored.

Objective: To assess the rates and predictors of overtreatment and undertreatment of glycemia and blood pressure in older adults with T2DM. Treatment deintensification or intensification by the physicians were also investigated.

Method: Data from older adults (≥65 years) enrolled in a large nationwide T2DM survey in 2017 across Turkey were analyzed. Overtreatment was defined as HbA1c <6.5% plus use of ≥2 oral hypoglycemics or insulin, and systolic BP <120 mmHg or diastolic BP <65 mmHg plus use of ≥2 drugs). Undertreatment was defined as HbA1c >9% at all, and SBP >140 mmHg or DBP >90 mmHg plus use of <3 drugs. Deintensification or intensification rates were calculated according to treatment modification by the physicians.

Results: A total of 1276 patients were included. The overtreatment rates for glycemia and BP were 9.8% and 5.9%, whereas undertreatment rates were 14.2% and 17.7%, respectively. In the adjusted model, use of oral hypoglycemics only (OR:3.1, 95% CI:1.9-5.3) and follow-up at a private clinic (OR:2.2, 95% CI:1.2-3.9) were the predictors of glycemia overtreatment. Presence of microvascular complications (OR:2.0, 95% CI:1.1-3.5) was the only predictor of BP overtreatment. The deintensification and intensification rates for glycemia were 25% and 75.7% respectively, and for the BP 10.9% and 9.0% respectively.

Conclusion: The overtreatment rates of diabetes and BP in Turkish older adults with T2DM were consistent with the previous studies, while the undertreatment rates were much higher. Doctors seem to feel more comfortable to intensify glycemic management and largely ignore BP control. The results warrant enforced measures to improve care of older adults with T2DM.


A. Sonmez: None. I. Tasci: None. I. Demirci: None. C. Haymana: None. C. Barcin: None. H. Aydin: None. S. Cetinkalp: None. F. Yener Ozturk: None. K. Gul: None. T. Sabuncu: None. I. Satman: None. F. Bayram: None.

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