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Friday, March 4, 2011

Diabetes Life Expectancy: Six Years Less

3/4/11 #229

From Endocrine Today:

Diabetes is associated with an increased risk for premature death from not only vascular diseases but also several cancers, infectious diseases, degenerative disorders and intentional self harm, researchers found.

“Our results suggest that, on average, a 50-year-old with diabetes but no history of vascular disease is about 6 years younger at the time of death than a counterpart without diabetes; for comparison, the reduction in life expectancy from long-term cigarette smoking is about 10 years.

“These findings highlight the need to better understand and prevent the multisystem consequences of diabetes,” the committee wrote.

From The Washington Post:
A 50-year-old with diabetes dies six years sooner than someone without the disease, and not just from a heart attack or a stroke, new research suggests.

Putting the six years lost in context, he said, long-term smoking shortens life by 10 years.

Exactly how diabetes raises those risks isn't clear, but in the case of infections, it could be that diabetes weakens the immune system, the researchers said. Diabetes can cause vision problems and loss of feeling in the legs, which may be the reason for falls, they said.

Danesh said one intriguing finding was a higher risk of suicide in those with diabetes. Other research has linked diabetes with depression, he noted.

The results are "another reason to try to normalize blood glucose in people who have diabetes," through diet, exercise and medication, said Dr. Alvin Powers, a diabetes specialist at Vanderbilt University. "There have been smaller studies that hinted at this but nothing where a study of this size looked at so many different outcomes."

Week 9 // Miles this week: 18 Miles this quarter: 156 // miles this year: 156

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