In recent years there has been a rise in the number of diabetic patients in Japan, with the increase in elderly diabetic patients becoming a serious problem. This study looked at 488 elderly type 2 diabetes patients who were admitted as emergency cases to the Department of Internal Medicine, JA Yoshida General Hospital, Akitakada City, Japan. All patients were classified by age into three groups: <70, 70-80 and >80. The most common cause of emergency hospitalization in each of the three age groups was infection. This was significantly higher in the >80 group in comparison with<70 (p<0.05). The most common infection among the three groups was respiratory infection, followed by urinary tract infection. The number of emergency hospitalization cases due to hypoglycemia was much higher in the over 80 group, particularly in comparison with<70-80 (p<0.05). The incidence of hypoglycemia in our patients could be explained mainly by reduced energy intake. Most cases were treated with oral administration of hypoglycemic drugs. As elderly diabetic patients have a number of underlying illnesses that are prone to aggravation and may lead to unfavorable prognosis, early medical examination and disease detection are considered to be important. Pharmacists are required to educate patients, home-visit nursing care personnel on sick-day rule, and provide diabetes care.
2013 by the PHARMACEUTICAL SOCIETY OF JAPAN