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Type-1 Diabetes significantly impacts on life expectancy

The care available to those with Type-1 diabetes may be improving, but the condition is still having a significant impact on life expectancy claims a major study.

Estimated Life Expectancy in a Scottish Cohort with Type-1 Diabetes 2008-2010was published yesterday and suggests that the provision of diabetes care, and changes in lifestyle choices have meant that patients with the condition are living longer.

The results of the report,published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), found thatin Scotland, the life expectancy among men diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 20 was 46.2 in comparison to 57.3 among non-diabetics, a difference of 11.1 years.

For women diagnosed at 20, life expectancy was 48.l years and 61 years among women without diabetes, a difference of 12.9 years.

In the general population of people without type 1 diabetes, 76% of men and 83% of women survived to age 70  compared to 47% of men and 55% of women with type 1 diabetes.

Simon O'Neill, Diabetes UK Director of Health Intelligence and Professional Liaison, said: “This large study adds to our understanding of the serious impact of Type 1 diabetes on length of life.

“The suggested increase in life expectancy is likely due to the improvements we have seen in diabetes care over the last 20 to 30 years, such as home blood glucose testing, earlier detection of diabetes and management of complications of the condition. Further long-term studies of the UK population are needed.

“While this report is encouraging, much more work remains to ensure better routine care for people with Type 1 diabetes to enable them to manage their condition and live longer, healthier lives.”