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Type 2 Diabetes and Mortality Risk

Approximately two-fold increase…. 

Previous research shows that type 2 diabetes has been associated with increased age-related mortality. A recent meta-analysis set out to determine the relative risks (RR) of mortality among patients with type 2 diabetes.

Researchers conducted an extensive literature search for information on mortality in type 2 diabetes, including research studies published between the years of 1990 and 2010. A total of 35 studies were included in the analysis, comprising 220,689 patients with type 2 diabetes and 10.7 years of follow up. Studies were included for analysis if they had participants with type 2 diabetes, all-cause or overall-cause or total mortality (as expressed as RR or risk ratios).

There was an increased Relative Risk (RR) associated with type 2 diabetes for both Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) mortality and stroke mortality; 1.76 (95% CI 1.66-1.88) and 2.26 (95% CI 1.7-3.02), respectively. These rates were concurrent with those found in previous literature. Other factors associated with increased mortality were found to include smoking, retinopathy, Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD), hypertension, low or high alcohol intake, poor lipid profile, age and sex, and combination of drugs such as sulfonylureas and metformin in patients on insulin. Interestingly, nephropathy was associated with an increased mortality risk as well, whereas HbA1c and diabetes duration showed inconsistent associations with mortality.

The authors concluded that type 2 diabetes increases mortality risk by about two-fold.

This study highlights the importance of prevention and management of type 2 diabetes in order to prevent micro and macrovascular complications contributing to increased mortality.

Practice Pearls:

  • Type 2 diabetes is associated with an increased risk of mortality regardless of age of diagnosis.
  • Type 2 diabetes is associated with increased risk mortality due to CVD causes regardless of gender.
  • Public health interventions aimed at type 2 diabetes management should focus on prevention.

Diabetes/Metabolism Research & Reviews 2014. [Nwaneri, C et al. Mortality in type 2 diabetes mellitus: magnitude of the evidence from a systematic review and meta-analysis. The British Journal of Diabetes & Vascular Disease. 2013;0(0):1-16.]