Research presented at the 48th Annual Meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes in Berlin demonstrates that women in the U.K. with diabetes aged 15 to 34 years may be up to nine times more likely to die than their healthy counterparts.
An estimated 2.1 million people were diagnosed with diabetes in the U.K. in 2008, according to a press release. Sixty-eight percent, or approximately 1.4 million, of these people were included in the study. Unique National Health Service identifying numbers were used to connect to death records in the U.K.’s Office of National Statistics, according to the release. Researchers used this information to examine 49,232 deaths in the diabetes population and compare them with death rates of the general population from 2009.
Among those with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, overall mortality was 2.5 and 1.5 times greater, respectively, compared with the general population after adjusting for age. Additionally, mortality was 1.7 times higher among those with type 1 diabetes vs. those with type 2 diabetes.
According to researchers, led by Bob Young, MD, FRCP, CBE, clinical lead for the U.K.’s National Diabetes Information Service based at Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust in the U.K., if the diabetes population had similar risks for death as those in the general population, 16,000 excess deaths would not have occurred. Furthermore, the researchers estimate that up to 21,000 excess diabetes-related deaths could have occurred in the U.K. in 2008, but the cohort used in the study did not include everyone in the U.K. who was diagnosed with diabetes. Many undiagnosed cases of diabetes also remain in the U.K., potentially making this statistic higher.
With age, the differences in death rates between those with diabetes and the general population decreased. The highest differences, however, were observed in the youngest age group; women aged 15 to 34 years with type 1 diabetes were nine times more likely to die than women from the general population in the same age group. Those women aged between 15 and 34 years with type 2 diabetes were six times more likely to die than their same-aged counterparts.
Among men aged between 15 and 34 years, those with type 1 and type 2 diabetes were four and 3.6 times more likely to die than men of the same age in the general population.
For more information:
Young B. #341. Presented at: the 48th Annual Meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes. Oct. 1-5, 2012; Berlin.