The U.S. Might Be Overtreating Diabetes

Many older patients get drugs they may not need, which could put them at risk of harmful side effects
Source: Aki Hänninen/Flickr

American doctors may be giving drugs to a lot of older diabetic patients who are unlikely to benefit and might even be harmed, a new study in JAMA Internal Medicine suggests. Older, sicker patients are treated as aggressively to get their blood sugar under control as healthier patients are, according to an analysis of a nationally representative survey of Americans 65 and older. That's despite what researchers say is greater risk that they'll suffer from dangerously low blood sugar, known as hypoglycemia, and little evidence that they benefit from intense diabetes management.

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