The European Diabetes Working Party for Older People (EDWPOP)

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.

Vision

Through high quality international collaborative work, to create a better quality of life and future for all older people with diabetes.

Mission

To provide evidenced-based clinical guidelines, consensus statements and management strategies for older people with diabetes which lead to high quality diabetes care.

Latest work

The next major task of the EDWPOP is to launch international guidance (also involving several international organisations including the IAGG-Garn and American Medical Directors Association) 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.
A paper describing this work to date is being published in February 2017 with the full Position Statement likely to be available a few months later. The initial collaborative work is being led by Professor Alan Sinclair (Chair of the EDWPOP) and Professor Bruno Vellas, a highly distinguished clinical scientist from the University of Toulouse and a leading clinician on the WHO Expert Group on Frailty. Further details will be announced on this website early in the New Year.

References

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