Mortality resulting from poorly controlled diabetes could be associated with a loss of 6 million life years in the United Kingdom, according to a study recently published in Cardiovascular Endocrinology & Metabolism.
Adrian Heald, MD, from Manchester University in the United Kingdom, and colleagues used data from the U.K. National Diabetes Audit and Office of National Statistics to estimate life years lost to diabetes.
The researchers found that higher mortality associated with type 1 and type 2 diabetes could produce a loss of 6.4 million future life years in the United Kingdom. The “average” person with type 1 diabetes (aged 42.8 years) has a future life expectancy of 32.6 years versus 40.2 more years for an equivalently aged person without diabetes (corresponding to lost life years of 7.6 years/average person). For type 2 diabetes, the “average” person (age 65.4 years) has a future life expectancy of 18.6 years versus 20.3 years for a person without diabetes (lost life years of 1.7 years/average person). For either type of diabetes, one year with hemoglobin A1c >58 mmol/mol is associated with a loss of approximately 100 life days.
“This study highlights the importance of early effective engagement and long-term management in patients with diabetes. And it’s especially important as numbers of people diagnosed with diabetes are on the rise and in light of the link between diabetes and COVID-19 deaths,” Heald said in a statement. “We hope our linking of poor glycemic control to expected mortality in such a quantitative way will be helpful to both clinicians and people with diabetes. Knowing the risks of poor control of their blood sugars will bring home its importance of and will support them in their efforts to achieve their targets.”
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