Longer life expectancy for type 1 diabetes sufferers in Scotland

Fri, 27 Sep 2013
Life expectancy for people with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) in Scotland has improved considerably, according to new research which has prompted calls for insurers to reflect this change in their relevant insurance policies.

Combining data from the Scottish Care Information - Diabetes Collaboration (SCI-DC) database with mortality rate data from the General Register, Professor Helen Colhoun and Dr. Shona Livingstone from the University of Dundee conducted a study of 25,000 people living with type 1 diabetes and aged 20 and older anytime between 2008 and 2010.

In total, 24,971 people in Scotland were identified under this criterion, among whom there were 1,079 deaths during the 3-year study period.

The remaining life expectancy for T1DM patients aged 20 -24 was 45 years for men and 47 years for women, compared to the estimates of 56 and 61 years respectively for men and women without T1DM.

For those with T1DM aged between 65-69, the remaining life expectancy was estimated to be 12 years regardless of gender, compared to 17 and 19 years respectively for men and women of this age in the general population, thus showing that the difference in remaining life expectancy between those with type 1 diabetes and those without declined as people aged.

In men, the difference was 11 years at age 20-24 and 5 years at age 65-69, while in women, the difference dropped from 14 years at age 20-24 to 7 years at age 65-69.

Professor Calhoun said the findings show there has been "a marked improvement in life expectancy for men and women with T1DM", with previous studies suggesting differences of 27 years and 17 years in life expectancy between type 1 diabetes sufferers and the general population.

"These improvements should now be reflected in life insurance and other relevant policies for those with T1DM," she added.

The study findings were presented earlier this week at the 2013 meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) in Barcelona, Spain.
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