A new study by the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health has found there has been a 40 per cent drop in the death rate of diabetic adults in the United States from chronic conditions such as heart disease and stroke.
Although diabetes was shown to still lead to shorter life spans, the fact that diabetes patients were now receiving improved healthcare, taking better care of their blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and are also less likely to smoke than previously, is said to explain the improvement.
The researchers, who assessed data on a quarter of a million US adults, revealed that the overall death rate decreased by 23 per cent between 1997 and 2006, with the drop from cardiovascular disease being the biggest. However, obesity levels, a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes, were still seen to be increasing, and that the rate of diabetic deaths from cardiovascular disease remains double that from non-diabetics.
Lead author of the study, Edward Gregg, said “Diabetes leads to many complications and shorter life spans. The fact that we found substantially lower death rates in both men and women was very encouraging.”
He added “When you see an effect on mortality like this, it’s not due to one factor, it’s really all those factors.”

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