Daniela V. Pirela, Rajesh Garg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objective: De-intensification of diabetes treatment is recommended in elderly patients with tight glycemic control at high risk of hypoglycemia. However, rates of de-intensification in endocrine practice are unknown. We conducted a retrospective study to evaluate the rate of de-intensification of antidiabetic treatment in elderly patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and tight glycemic control. Methods: All patients with ≥2 clinic visits over a 1-year period at a major academic diabetes center were included. De-intensification of diabetes treatment was defined as a decrease or discontinuation of any antidiabetic drug without adding another drug, or a reduction in the total daily dose of insulin or a sulfonylurea drug with or without adding a drug without risk of hypoglycemia. Results: Out of 3,186 unique patients, 492 were ≥65 years old with T2DM and hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) <7.5% (<58 mmol/mol). We found 308 patients treated with a sulfonylurea drug or insulin, 102 of whom had hypoglycemia as per physician note. Among these 102 patients, 38 (37%) were advised to de-intensify therapy. In a subgroup analysis of patients ≥75 years old with HbA1c <7% (<53 mmol/mol), we found that out of 23 patients treated with a sulfonylurea drug or insulin and reporting hypoglycemia, 11 (43%) were advised de-intensification of therapy. There were no significant predictors of de-intensification of treatment. Conclusion: Our study suggests that de-intensification of antidiabetic medications is uncommon in elderly patients with T2DM. Strategies may need to be developed to prevent the potential harm of overtreatment in this population. Abbreviations: ADA = American Diabetes Association; CGM = continuous glucose monitoring; HbA1c = hemoglobin A1c; T2DM = type 2 diabetes mellitus; UKPDS = United Kingdom Prospective Diabetes Study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1317-1322
Number of pages6
JournalEndocrine practice : official journal of the American College of Endocrinology and the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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