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Mortality Among Persons with Type 2 Diabetes

Risks of death varied depending on age, glycemic control and renal complications.

Type 2 diabetes is one of the most challenging health problems that can cause other complications, such as heart problems and renal disease. An increased mortality rate is associated with this disease. In type 2 diabetes, macrovascular disease was known as the main cause of mortality, followed by renal disease and cerebrovascular disease.

The level of glycemic control, cardiovascular disease and renal complications can contribute excess risks of death in patients with type 2 diabetes. A study published in The New England Journal of Medicine focused on those risks according to glycemic control and renal complications among persons with type 2 diabetes

In this registry-based study, researchers included patients with type 2 diabetes who were registered in the Swedish National Diabetes Register on or after January 1998. Those patients were followed until December 2011. The controls were selected from the general population.

In the results, in the diabetes group, 17.7% of participants died after 4.6 years of follow-up, while 14.5% of participants in the control group died after 4.8 years of follow-up. The rate of cardiovascular death in the diabetes group was higher than that in the control group. The risk was also increased in the people with diabetes who had worse glycemic control and greater severity of renal complications. Patients who were 65 to 74 years old had lower risk of death, compared with patients 75 years old or older.

Type 2 diabetes and its related complications reduced patient life expectancy. It is important to let patients maintain good glycemic levels. Healthcare professionals should help those patients optimize their treatments for the atherogenic risk factors, which can cause heart disease.

Practice Pearls:

  • A registry-based study of patients with type 2 diabetes accessed the mortality rate according to glycemic control and renal complications.
  • People with type 2 diabetes had varied risks of death depending on age, glycemic control and renal complications.
  • Clinicians should encourage their patients to maintain good glycemic levels and prevent risk factors that caused heart disease.

Mauro Tancredi, Annika Rosengren, Ann-Marie Svensson. “Excess Mortality Among Persons with Type 2 Diabetes.” The New England Journal of Medicine. 2015;375:1720-1731. Oct 29, 2015.