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Having Children Leads to Decreased Mortality Risk among Parents with Diabetes

Oct 3, 2013
 

Results from a new study presented at the 2013 EASD meeting suggests having more than one child lowers mortality risk for men and women with diabetes…. 

In a study led by Sjoberg et al, the effects of having children on mortality risk, specifically in the type 1 diabetic population was analyzed. Data was obtained from the Finnish Diabetes Epidemiology Research International (DERI) cohort and among 5,162 type 1 diabetic cases, 1,025 of these patients had died. When each case was matched with two patients without diabetes but with the same age, sex, and region, it was determined that 497 of these "control patients" died, a much smaller number when compared to the diabetic cases.

Overall, mortality rate was higher among patients with diabetes. However, when determining which patients had children, researchers found that individuals with at least one child were associated with a lower mortality rate when compared to those without children.

Women with diabetes also had a lower mortality rate in comparison to men with the disease. Sjoberg et al believe this may be because when women with diabetes become pregnant, they are more educated on the risks associated with their condition and are therefore, more motivated to reach glycemic goals.

While the researchers suggest an association between having children and a decreased mortality risk in patients with type 1 diabetes, they also warn us that possible confounding may exist in the study.

Sjoberg L, et al "Mortality and having offspring in childhood-onset type 1 diabetes" EASD 2013; Abstract 298.