Incident diabetes in the elderly also may present in a variety of ways, from mild asymptomatic hyperglycemia detected on a random glucose measurement to profound hyperglycemia with dehydration and coma. The elderly appear to be at greatest risk of hyperglycemic hyperosmolar state (HHS) for a variety of reasons, including altered thirst, inability to obtain adequate hydration due to dementia or immobility, concomitant use of diuretics and impaired renal concentrating ability. This serious disorder constitutes a true medical emergency requiring intensive care and has a high mortality rate.
Incident diabetes in the elderly may also present as mild, typically postprandial (or postchallenge) hyperglycemia that is generally asymptomatic, unrecognized and untreated. Although the degree of hyperglycemia may be modest, there is substantial evidence that CVD risk is increased (19,20) and appears to be equivalent to those with middle-age onset diabetes (5). Modification of CVD risk factors (lipids, hypertension, smoking) is indicated, but the role of anti-hyperglycemic therapy in reducing CVD risk in these patients remains uncertain.
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Diabetes is a disease that affects the way your body uses food. Normally, your body converts sugars, starches and other foods into a form of sugar called glucose. Your body uses glucose for fuel. The cells receive the glucose through the bloodstream. They then use insulin a hormone made by the pancreas to absorb the glucose, convert it into energy, and either use it or store it for later use. Learn more...