Diabetes mortality risk falls substantially in the UK and Canada

by Barbara Hewitt on June 27, 2013

Diabetes mortality risk falls substantially in the UK and Canada

Diabetes mortality risk falls substantially in the UK and Canada

The risk of dying from type 1 and type 2 diabetes has fallen dramatically in the UK and Canada in the last 15 years, new research shows. A study which used population based databases to compare mortality rates found that the gap in death risk between those with and without diabetes has narrowed substantially.

In 1996 someone diagnosed with diabetes was more than twice as likely, about 114%, to die than a comparable person without diabetes. However, in 2009, that excess risk of death had fallen to 65%. By comparison, the excess mortality rate in Ontario fell from 90% to 51% during the same period.

The fall was across all age groups, for both men and women, and there was no significant difference between the sexes in 2009. The excess risk of death for diabetic patients fell between 25% and 40% in those aged under 64 and between 50% and 65% in those aged 64 and over during the study period.

Quote from DiabetesForum.com : “Type 1 diabetes patients on long-term, intensive therapy are more likely to achieve near-normal levels of blood glucose, as well as a significantly lower risk of developing heart disease, stroke, kidney problems and severe eye disease, researchers from the Massachusetts General Hospital Diabetes Center in Boston reported at the American Diabetes Association’s 73rd Scientific Sessions, Chicago, Illinois.”

Authors Lorraine Lipscombe, an endocrinologist at Women’s College Hospital in Toronto, Canada, and Marcus Lind, of the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, suggest that the decline in risk it is due to more aggressive treatment of diabetes and improved screening that had led to people receiving treatment earlier. The research, published in the medical journal Diabetologia, also pointed out that treatment today of diabetes also includes more intensive control of blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels.

Dr Alasdair Rankin, director of research for charity group Diabetes UK, said the research was really good news but warned there was still a long way to go as people with diabetes still have a significant reduction in life expectancy. ‘Every year many thousands of people with diabetes in the UK are still dying before their time. This is unacceptable and urgent action is needed to further improve the situation,’ he explained.


The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of the DiabetesForum.com Community and should not be interpreted as medical advice. Please see your doctor before making any changes to your diabetes management plan.

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