Diabetes: Life expectancy is reduced by 9 years

Diabetes: Life expectancy is reduced by 9 years

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Study examines the effects of diabetes on mortality
Diabetes is a common disease around the world. It is often referred to as diabetes, which is a group of metabolic diseases. Researchers have now found that people with diabetes have on average up to nine years shorter life expectancy.

The researchers from the internationally recognized University of Oxford and Peking University in China found in a study that diagnosed diabetes reduces the life expectancy of those affected by an average of up to nine years. This is mainly due to insufficient treatment, especially in rural areas. The doctors published the results of their study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Diabetes prevalence in China has quadrupled
The prevalence of diabetes in China has quadrupled in recent decades, experts say. Around 100 million adults have already been affected. Since such an increase in diabetes has only recently occurred, the full effect of the disease on mortality remains largely unknown.

Study includes 500,000 subjects from China
In their study, the doctors examined the relationship between diabetes and mortality in 500,000 adults aged 30 to 79 years. Between 2004 and 2008, study participants were recruited from five rural and five urban areas in China. Until 2014, the subjects were then medically monitored and examined for cause-specific mortality, the scientists explain. The researchers found that people with diabetes were at twice the risk of mortality during the follow-up, compared to the other study participants.

What increases mortality from diabetes?
Diabetes can be associated with increased mortality from a variety of conditions including heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, liver disease, infection and cancer of the liver, pancreas and breast.

Significant improvement in the treatment of diabetes is urgently needed
Over the past few decades, disease-related mortality rates among Chinese adults have decreased overall. However, the decline is slowed or even stopped by the effects of diabetes. For this reason, a significant improvement in the type of treatment is urgently needed, emphasize the researchers from the University of Oxford.

Diabetes more common in urban areas, but more deaths from rural diabetes in rural areas
Diabetes was more common in urban (8 percent) than in rural areas in China (4 percent), but the associated health risks were higher in rural than in urban areas, the researchers explain.

Inadequate treatment in China leads to more deaths
The risk of dying from acute complications from diabetes due to inadequate treatment was four times greater in rural areas than in urban areas. But the risk of mortality was also much higher in the urban areas of China than in western populations, the experts add. Even if three quarters of the known diabetics were treated, their average blood sugar levels remained far too high and only a few of those affected used cardiovascular protective drugs (such as statins) or antihypertensive treatments, the scientists report.

Better diabetes management found in high income western countries
Of the many people with diabetes in China, only a few really grow old. There is a lot of premature death, especially in rural areas, explains author Fiona Bragg. Most of the previous studies were conducted in high-income countries. There, people with diabetes have better control over their blood glucose. Statins and antihypertensive drugs are common here, the scientists explain. (as)

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