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10 Dec 2019

DPC highlights need for personalised care among older people with diabetes

A leading expert on diabetes care has called for a change in approach to ensure tailored healthcare for all those with type 1 diabetes.

Speaking at Diabetes Professional Care (DPC2019), Professor Ketan Dhatariya said it’s also “crucial” that the older generation’s diabetes needs were tailored for.

The diabetes consultant, who is based at the Norfolk & Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Individualisation is key because all the information shows within the first 10 years of a diabetes diagnosis, treatment must be aggressive to bring the condition under control to prevent complications.

“But for people who are getting older, we need to adjust and look at de-escalating their treatment. I’m finding, for example, that older people are being inappropriately and aggressively treated to try to reach QOF targets.”

Professor Dhatariya was joined by Dr David Strain, Senior Clinical Lecturer at the University of Exeter Medical School in a session looking specifically at type 1 diabetes in older people. The session was chaired by Professor Alan Sinclair, Director of the Foundation for Diabetes Research in Older People (FDROP), and a global expert in diabetes for older people.

Dr Strain gave an account of the key features of type 1 diabetes in older people, and Professor Dhatariya presented a summary of the recently released International Guidance on managing type 1 diabetes in adults with an emphasis on older people. The document was based on work of an international group of experts chaired by Professors Sinclair and Dunning (Geelong, Australia) of which he was a member.

Dr Strain commented: “Old age is particularly concerning for those with a chronic health condition, such as type 1 diabetes. Despite this, there’s very little research into the management of diabetes in older people.

“This is because the older generation are very often excluded from research studies. Instead trials are usually based on younger people. It’s vital we ensure all populations who have either type 1 or type 2 diabetes are included to ensure standards of diabetes care are improved.”

Professor Sinclair concluded that it was now essential that these new type 1 guidelines are read and implemented wherever possible into practical decision-making that enhances the quality of diabetes care for all adults with type 1 diabetes.

This year DPC opened on October 29 in a larger hall within Olympia London to accommodate increased demand.

The multi-stream event, which is the UK’s largest free-to-attend, CPD-accredited conference for healthcare professionals working in diabetes care, brought together world-class practitioners and thought leaders to share their expertise, knowledge and best practice.

A series of informal new clinics were at the heart of the revamped programme, which had key focus around co-morbidities and related conditions.

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