Diabetes leads to more deaths in the US than was previously believed, according to new research.
Scientists have suggested that diabetes is the third-leading cause of death in the US and accounts for 12 per cent of mortalities. Previous research reported that diabetes accounted for just four per cent of deaths in the US.
While the findings are indeed concerning, there is no reason why people with diabetes can’t go on to live long, healthy lives by keeping good control of their blood sugar levels, eating healthily and getting regular exercise.
The research was based upon health records of people on the National Health Interview Survey and the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The team looked at health trends and mortality rates in the population.
They found that complications from diabetes can mask a single reason for a fatality, resulting in diabetes not being listed as the underlying cause of death as frequently as it should be.
Diabetes is currently listed as the seventh most common reason for death by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), but the researchers are calling for changes to be made at a national level to counteract the growing effect diabetes is having in the US.
“In the case of diabetes, the burden is potentially obscured because of underreporting,” said co-lead author Samuel Presto, a professor of sociology in the School of Arts and Sciences.
“Our work aims to reveal that diabetes is a much more important cause than is appreciated.”
The researchers added that their findings “reinforce the need for robust population-level interventions aimed at diabetes prevention and care.”
The findings appear online in the PLOS ONE journal.

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