Researchers in Scotland have shown that although diabetes is a growing problem for that country’s population, patients diagnosed with the condition are living considerably longer than they have in the past. This is particularly true for patients diagnosed with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM).
The results were recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.1 Using data on patients with diabetes in the country who were at least 20 years old between 2008 and 2010, the team had a patient pool of 691 individuals representing 67,712 person-years also reported 1043 deaths during that time. The results of the study showed that males who lived until at least the age of 20 were expected to live another 46 years if they had T1DM, and 57 more years if not for an estimated loss in life expectancy of just over 11 years (95% CI, 10.2-12.1). For females who lived until at least the age of 20, diabetes patients were expected to live another 48 years with the condition or an additional 61 years without it for a slightly higher loss of life expectancy of 12.9 years.
Study results also showed that patients with an estimated glomerular filtration rate of 90/mL/min/1.73m2 or higher saw their life expectancy reduced 49 years for men and 53.1 years for women. This resulted in an estimated loss lo life expectancy of 8.3 years (95% CI, 6.5-10.1) for men and 7.9 years (95% CI, 5.5-10.3) for women. “Overall, the largest percentage of the estimated loss in life expectancy was related to ischemic heart disease (36% in men, 31% in women) but death from diabetic coma or ketoacidosis was associated with the largest percentage of the estimated loss occurring before age 50 years (29.4% in men, 21.7% in women,) the authors noted. Looking at the averages for people with as opposed to those T1DM, without the condition, the authors reported an average loss of life expectancy of 11 years for men, compared with their healthier counterparts, and 13 years for women, compared with the overall population of the European country.
1. Livingstone SJ, Levin D, Looker HC, et al. Estimated life expectancy in a Scottish cohort with type 1 diabetes, 2008-2010. JAMA. 2015;313(1):37-44.