Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease a Deadly Combo, Study Finds

Individuals living with a combination of diabetes and cardiovascular disease are more likely to have a shorter life expectancy, researchers from the University of Cambridge found.

Individuals living with a combination of diabetes and cardiovascular disease are more likely to have a shorter life expectancy, researchers from the University of Cambridge published in a study in JAMA.

Men age 60 years are estimated to have 12 years of reduced life expectancy if they have any 2 of the cardiometabolic conditions, or a combination of diabetes, stroke, or myocardial infarction heart attack; women of the same age who were living with all 3 conditions were expected to live 16 fewer years than those who did not have these conditions.

Men and women who were younger experienced even larger life expectancy reductions than their counterparts. A 40-year-old man with all cardiometabolic conditions had, on average, 23 years of reduced life expectancy and women followed suit, demonstrating an average of 20 years shorter life expectancy.

“Although patients with more than 1 condition constitute only a small proportion of the population at large, in real terms the numbers are not insignificant,” John Danesh, DPhil, professor and head of the Department of Public Health and Primary Care at the University of Cambridge, said in a statement. “Measures aimed at reducing diabetes and heart disease amongst this group could have a dramatic impact on their lives. However, at the same time, we must not lose sight of tackling these serious conditions within the wider population.”

The researchers analyzed more than 135,000 deaths from prolonged follow-ups of more than 1.2 million patients. The team also gathered data from the Emerging Risk Factors Collaboration, which included 700,000 patients between 1960 and 2007.

Previous researchers observed that 10 million adults in the United States and European Union currently live with more than 1 cardiometabolic disease. This new study outlined that 1 in 100 individuals of the population group examined live with 2 or more cardiometabolic diseases.

“Our results highlight the importance of preventing heart disease and stroke amongst patients with diabetes, and likewise averting diabetes amongst heart disease patients,” Dr Danesh said.