A new Scotland-wide study has found that the life expectancy in some people with type 2 diabetes is about five years lower, irrespective of social or economic factors.
The study, led by researchers at the University of Edinburgh, screened the health records of three million Scottish people to estimate how long people with and without the condition might live.
Researchers compared data on 250,000 people who had type 2 diabetes with 2.8 million people who did not have type 2 diabetes.
Then they estimated life expectancy for men and women aged 40-89 years old and provided data for each five-year age band.
The research team also measured the impact of socioeconomic status on outcomes using an index of indicators of deprivation in every geographical area of Scotland.
Life expectancy was shown to be lower among those with type 2 diabetes than those without, across any age band and regardless of social status.
It was found that type 2 diabetes lowered life expectancy by five and a half years in middle-aged women. The only exception where diabetes did not seem to alter life expectancy was found in men aged over 80 years, in the most deprived areas.
In light of these findings, researchers restated the importance of sustained diabetes prevention achieved with lifestyle changes.
A recent meta-analysis of adults with prediabetes showed that making real and lasting changes to the diet and physical activity levels, alongside treatment, can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by about 30 per cent.
Weight loss appears to be the key factor associated with reduced diabetes progressio, as the meta-analysis also found that every kilogram of weight lost led to a 7 per cent decrease in risk of progression to diabetes.
Overall, these findings show that type 2 diabetes is linked to a shorter lifespan on average and that more diabetes-prevention efforts and lifestyle modification strategies are needed to help reverse this decline.
Whilst the average life expectancy is lower, each of us, as individuals, have the opportunity to take control of our health. The Low Carb Program has been developed to help people follow a healthy lifestyle conducive to a long and healthy life.

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