Association between the Vicious Cycle of Diabetes-Associated Complications and Glycemic Control Among the Elderly: A Systematic Review

Muhammad Atif, Quratulain Saleem, Zaheer Ud Din Babar, Shane Scahill

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Background and objectives: Improved quality of life (QoL) and life expectancy of elderly diabetic patients revolves around optimal glycemic control. Inadequate glycemic control may lead to the development of diabetes-associated complications (DAC), which not only complicate the disease, but also affect morbidity and mortality. Based on the available literature, the aim was to elucidate the vicious cycle underpinning the relationship between diabetes complications and glycemic control. Materials and Methods: A comprehensive literature search was performed to find eligible studies published between 1 January 2000 and 22 September 2018 pertaining to diabetes complications and glycemic control. Results: Initially, 261 studies were retrieved. Out of these, 67 were duplicates and therefore were excluded. From the 194 remaining articles, 85 were removed based on irrelevant titles and/or abstracts. Subsequently, the texts of 109 articles were read in full and 71 studies were removed at this stage for failing to provide relevant information. Finally, 38 articles were selected for this review. Depression, impaired cognition, poor physical functioning, frailty, malnutrition, chronic pain, and poor self-care behavior were identified as the major diabetes-associated complications that were associated with poor glycemic control in elderly diabetic patients. Conclusions: This paper proposes that diabetes-associated complications are interrelated, and that impaired glycemic control aggravates diabetes complications; as a result, patient's self-care abilities are compromised. A schema is generated to reflect a synthesis of the literature found through the systematic review process. This not only affects patients' therapeutic goals, but may also hamper their health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and financial status.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages24
JournalMedicina (Kaunas, Lithuania)
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2018


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