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Huge falls in diabetes mortality in UK and Canada since mid-1990s
Date:6/26/2013

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"It is noteworthy that the prevalence of diabetes in Ontario (adults 20 years or older) increased from 5.4% to 11.4% over the study period, and in the THIN cohort there was an increase in prevalence from 3.2% to 5.9% over the corresponding time period," says Lipscombe.

The excess risk of mortality for diabetic patients decreased in all age groups over timeapproximately 25%-40% lower in age groups below 64 years and 50%-65% lower in those aged 64 years and older during the study period. In 2009 the excess risk of mortality for individuals with diabetes 20-44 years of age was 70%-80% in both cohorts. In those 45-64 years old, mortality was approximately doubled and was 15-25% greater in individuals 65 years of age and over.

The authors say that more aggressive treatment during recent decades may explain these results, including more intensive control of blood sugar in people with diabetes, and blood pressure control and statins to reduce the risk of cardiovascular events in people both with and without diabetes.

A shift towards more diabetes screening and earlier diagnosis in recent years may also have contributed to lower mortality rates within more contemporary diabetes populations.

Although not a primary focus of this study, the authors say it should be noted that the prevalence of diabetes was considerably higher in the Ontario cohort than in THIN during the study period. The reasons for this discrepancy are unclear, but may be related to differences in factors known to influence the incidence of diabetes such as screening programmes, ethnicity, eating habits or physical activity patterns between the two cohorts. Further research would be needed to explore these possibilities.

The authors conclude: "The excess risk of age-standardized mortality in patients with versus without diabetes has decreased over time in both Canada and the UK, having fallen to an increased risk of 50-65% in 2009. The excess risk related
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Contact: Marcus Lind
lind.marcus@telia.com
46-073-831-1742
University of Gothenburg
Source:Eurekalert

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