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Diabetes and obesity in older adults: a call to action

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  17 August 2009

Emily J. Edson*
Global Health Outcomes, Eli Lilly and Company, Indianapolis, IN, USA
Justo Sierra-Johnson
Global Health Outcomes, Eli Lilly and Company, Indianapolis, IN, USA Mayo Clinic, Cardiovascular Division, Rochester, MN, USA
Bradley Curtis
Global Health Outcomes, Eli Lilly and Company, Indianapolis, IN, USA University of Sydney, Australia
Address for correspondence: Emily Edson, Eli Lilly and Company, Lilly Corporate Center Drop Code 6034, Indianapolis, IN 46285, USA. Email:


The world's older population is projected to rise to some two billion people in the next 50 years. The health of older adults deteriorates with increasing age and creates greater demand for healthcare resources. Prevalence of the metabolic syndrome in older adults is causing concern due to its interplay between type 2 diabetes, obesity and associated morbidity and mortality. This call to action discusses comorbidities associated with type 2 diabetes and obesity in the older population and its impact on patients. We cover several topics to consider when designing prevention and treatment strategies for older adults and areas for improvement in our care of this special population are discussed. We know that dietary, exercise and weight-loss interventions are effective. However, these strategies require effort by both patient and physician. If all parties responsible in patient care take action, a change in lifestyle can lead to longer, healthier lives in older adults.

Psychological and social gerontology
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2009

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