Navigation Links
Life Expectancy Improves for Type 1 Diabetics

By Serena Gordon
HealthDay Reporter

SATURDAY, June 25 (HealthDay News) -- Advances in diabetes care have nearly eliminated the difference in life expectancy between people with type 1 diabetes and the general population, according to new research.

Life expectancy at birth for someone diagnosed with type 1 diabetes between 1965 and 1980 was estimated to be 68.8 years compared to 72.4 years for the general population. But, for someone diagnosed with type 1 diabetes between 1950 and 1964 the estimated life expectancy at birth was just 53.4 years.

"The outlook for someone with type 1 diabetes can be wonderful," said the study's senior author, Dr. Trevor Orchard, professor of epidemiology, medicine and pediatrics at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health.

Orchard said that more recent improvements in diabetes care will make the outlook even brighter for people diagnosed more recently.

"We'll see further improvements in life expectancy compared to the general population," he said.

Results of the new study are scheduled to be presented on Saturday at the American Diabetes Association's annual meeting in San Diego.

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease, which means the body's immune system mistakenly sees healthy cells as foreign invaders, such as a virus. In type 1 diabetes, the immune system attacks cells in the pancreas that produce insulin, a hormone necessary for your body to use carbohydrates as fuel. Once these cells are destroyed, the body can no longer produce insulin. People with type 1 diabetes must replace the lost insulin through injections or an insulin pump or they would get very ill and could even die.

But, estimating the right amount of insulin you might need isn't an easy task. Too little insulin, and the blood sugar levels go too high. Over time, high blood sugar levels can damage many parts of the body, including the kidneys and the eyes. But if you get too much insulin, blood sugar levels can drop dangerously low, possibly low enough to cause coma or death.

Diabetes care today has advanced significantly since the people in Orchard's study were first diagnosed. Blood glucose meters weren't readily available back then. There were few choices in insulin, and there were no insulin pumps. It was far more difficult to maintain good blood sugar levels. And, Orchard noted that there was no way to measure long-term blood sugar control, as there is now. A test called the hemoglobin A1C can detect your average blood sugar levels for the past two to three months.

Orchard's study, known as the Pittsburgh Epidemiology of Diabetes Complications (EDC) study, included 390 people who were diagnosed with type 1 diabetes between 1950 and 1964, and 543 people who were diagnosed between 1965 and 1980.

The researchers found that the mortality rate was 11.6 percent for the 1965 to 1980 group and 35.6 percent for the 1950 to 1964 group.

That means for people diagnosed with type 1 diabetes between 1965 and 1980, their life expectancy improved by 15 years. At the same time, the life expectancy for the general U.S. population only improved by one year.

The gap between life expectancy for people with type 1 diabetes (diagnosed between 1965 and 1980) and the general U.S. population is now just four years, according to the study.

Orchard said this new information should help people with type 1 diabetes who may be unfairly penalized with higher premiums when they try to purchase life insurance.

Dr. Joel Zonszein, director of the clinical diabetes program at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, called the new study "good research that's documenting what we're seeing. Our patients are doing much better. The morbidity is also much less. We used to see so much blindness and now we don't see that as much. I think this study is very reassuring."

Good blood sugar control is the key, said Zonszein.

Orchard agreed. "It's well worth getting good [blood sugar] control, as well as controlling blood pressure and [cholesterol]. These are all important." He added that people with type 1 diabetes who can avoid a kidney issue known as microalbuminuria actually have the same life expectancy as the average person in the United States.

More information

Learn more about type 1 diabetes from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

SOURCES: Trevor Orchard, M.D., professor of epidemiology, medicine and pediatrics, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh; Joel Zonszein, M.D., director, clinical diabetes program, Montefiore Medical Center, New York City; June 25, 2011, presentation, American Diabetes Association annual meeting, San Diego

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. 4 preventable risk factors reduce life expectancy in US and lead to health disparities
2. 4 preventable risk factors reduce US life expectancy and lead to health disparities
3. U of M study: Monitoring cholesterol increases life expectancy
4. Americans life expectancy continues to fall behind other countries
5. Despite highest health spending, Americans life expectancy falls behind other countries
6. Economist honored for study on impact of new cancer drugs on life expectancy
7. U.S. Life Expectancy Drops Slightly
8. Smoking, Obesity Slowing U.S. Life Expectancy Gains: Report
9. Life expectancy of severely mentally ill dramatically reduced due to poor physical health
10. Great Depression did not significantly improve life expectancy in the US
11. Life expectancy in most US counties falls behind worlds healthiest nations
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... Austin residents ... the American College of Mohs Surgery and to Dr. Russell Peckham for medical and ... highly effective treatment for skin cancer. The selective fellowship in Mohs Micrographic Surgery completed ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... California (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... "With ... fit their specific project," said Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. ... customizable and all within Final Cut Pro X . Simply select a ProHand ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... As a lifelong Southern Californian, Dr. Omkar Marathe earned his Bachelors in ... School of Medicine at UCLA. He trained in Internal Medicine at Scripps Green Hospital ... at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program where he had the opportunity to train in ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... On Friday, June 10, Van Mitchell, Secretary ... Work award to iHire in recognition of their exemplary accomplishments in worksite health promotion. ... Maryland Workplace Health & Wellness Symposium at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum Heights. iHire ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Angeles, CA (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... surgery procedures that most people are unfamiliar with. The article goes on to state ... procedures, but also many of these less common operations such as calf and cheek ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 ... CAPR ), a biotechnology company focused on the ... announced that patient enrollment in its ongoing randomized ... has exceeded 50% of its 24-patient target. Capricor ... the third quarter of 2016, and to report ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , , , WHEN: , , ... , , , LOCATION: , , , Online, with free registration ... PANELISTS:  , , , Frost & Sullivan,s Global Vice President of ... Analyst, Divyaa Ravishankar and Unmesh Lal, Program Manager , ... witnessing an exceptional era. Several new demand spaces, such as innovative ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Revolutionary technology includes ... Oticon , industry leaders in advanced audiology and hearing ... Oticon Opn ™, the world,s first internet connected hearing ... IoT devices.      (Photo: ... number of ,world firsts,: , TwinLink™ - ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: