The European Diabetes Working Party for Older People (EDWPOP) was established in December 2000 to ensure that older people in societies across the European Union have consistent and high-quality diabetes care throughout their lives. It developed from the Elderly Diabetes Working Group (Chair: Professor A J Sinclair, UK) of the St Vincent Declaration Primary Care Diabetes Group chaired by Dr Paul Cromme (Netherlands).
It was appreciated that modern diabetes care systems for older people require integrated care between general practitioners, hospital specialists, and other members of the healthcare team. However, what was not appreciated fully enough was that these should have a multi-dimensional approach with an emphasis on prevention of diabetes and its complications, early intervention for vascular disease, and assessment of disability due to limb problems, eye disease, stroke, and other causes. Management of diabetes in older people can be relatively straightforward especially when patients have no other co-morbidities and when vascular complications are absent. In many cases, however, special issues arise which increase the complexity of management such as the development of frailty and this can lead to difficult clinical decision-making.
Variations in clinical practice are common in most healthcare systems resulting in inequalities of care. For older people with diabetes, this may be manifest as lack of access to services, inadequate specialist provision, poorer clinical outcomes and patient and family dissatisfaction. The response of the EDWPOP to these types of concern was originally to develop several sets of clinical guidelines which are accessible here.
Through high quality international collaborative work, to create a better quality of life and future for all older people with diabetes.
To provide evidenced-based clinical guidelines, consensus statements and management strategies for older people with diabetes which lead to high quality diabetes care.
The EDWPOP has launched three major international clinical guidelines since its initial foundation. All have been well received and cited often. The latest guideline is timely and focuses on the management of older people with diabetes who are frail since this is an increasingly recognised group of vulnerable people at high risk of disability. This was the first international guidance in this area and represents a collaboration between the EDWPOP, and leading international scientists including Professor Bruno Vellas, Professor Leocadio Rodriguez Manas, Professor Jean Woo, and Associate Professor Medha Munshi,
The EDWPOP will be collaborating with the International Foundation for Diabetes and Ageing which is being established to meet a longer term objective to bring about change in how older people with diabetes are managed to bring about better clinical outcomes and greater quality of life of those affected. The EDWPOP welcomes the recent launch of the Research RoadMap for Diabetes in Older People and sees it as a platform for scientists and other researchers who wish to investigate one or more of the multiple research gaps outlined.
Sinclair AJ, Paolisso G, Castro M, Bourdel-Marchasson I, Gadsby R, Rodriguez Mañas L, European Diabetes Working Party for Older People. European Diabetes Working Party for Older People 2011 clinical guidelines and references for type 2 diabetes mellitus. Executive summary. Diabetes Metab 2011;37 (suppl 3): S27–38.
Sinclair A, Morley JE, Rodriquez-Manas L, et al. Diabetes mellitus in older people: position statement on behalf of International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics (IAGG), the European Diabetes Working Party for Older People (EDWPOP), and the International Task Force of Experts of Diabetes. J Am Med Dir Assoc 2012; 13: 497–502
Sinclair AJ, Abdelhafiz A, Dunning T, Izquierdo M, Rodriguez Manas L, Bourdel-Marchasson I, Morley JE, Munshi M, Woo J, Vellas B. An International Position Statement on the Management of Frailty in Diabetes Mellitus: Summary of Recommendations 2017. J Frailty Aging. 2018;7(1):10-20.
Sinclair AJ. Research RoadMap in Diabetes and Older People, First output of the developing International Foundation for Diabetes and Ageing. Diabetes Times, March 2020 (In press).