A new study from the University of Dundee has found that life expectancy for people with type 1 diabetes has improved.
Life expectancy study
Researchers carried out a major study on more than 24,000 individuals with type 1 diabetes between 2008 and 2010. They were all aged 20 or older.
Professor Helen Colhoun and Shona Livingstone, who ran the study, found that 47 per cent of men and 55 per cent of women with type 1 diabetes survived to age 70.
This was compared to the general population without type 1 diabetes, with 76 per cent of men and 83 per cent of women living to 70.
Previous research had suggested a gap of between 15 and 27 years in life expectancy between those with and without type 1 diabetes.
This new research, however, found that men with type 1 diabetes live 11 years less than those without out the disease, which increases slightly to 13 years for women.
Heart disease was the biggest culprit in estimating loss in life expectancy, but kidney disease was a big contributor and ketoacidosis was thought to be associated with the largest number of deaths of those under 50.
“This large study adds to our understanding of the serious impact of type 1 diabetes on length of life,” said Sarah Ward, deputy national director of Diabetes Scotland.
“The suggested increase in life expectancy is likely due to the improvements we have seen in diabetes care over the last 20 to 30 years, such as home blood glucose testing, earlier detection of diabetes and management of complications of the condition.”

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