A middle-aged person with Type 2 diabetes will lose about six years of their life due to the disease. According to researchers, this is just one year less than a smoker would lose of the same age. Additionally, he or she has more than double the chance of dying from cardiovascular disease as someone who does not have diabetes and the report also says that they are 25 percent more prone to die of cancer. The report was based on an international study of more than 820,000 people that was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
There is more bad news for people with Type 2 diabetes. The study indicates that they are also more likely to die from kidney disease, pneumonia, liver disease, infectious diseases and even intentional self-harm.
This study was run by the Emerging Risk Factors Collaboration at the University of Cambridge in England. The data collected is particularly upsetting because of the speedy incidence of diabetes cases in the United States, most likely from the increase in obesity. There is currently an estimated 25.8 million Americans with diabetes, which is 10 million more than just 20 years ago.
Dr. David Kendall of the American Diabetes Association said that researchers already knew that diabetes could cut short one’s lifespan but this recent study shows just how many years of life could be lost and to what causes.
Also shown in the report was the fact that people with pre-diabetes, having blood glucose levels higher than normal but not yet diabetic, are at risk from many of the same causes of death. There is an estimated 79 million Americans who have pre-diabetes.
Kendall said that even though diabetes is frequently seen as just a condition instead of an illness, as something one can just live with. He said, “well, in fact, this shows that it is associated with a significant risk of both morbidity and mortality.”
The report from the Emerging Risk Factors Collaboration found that diabetics were 2.32 times as likely as non-diabetics to die from cardiovascular disease and 25 percent more likely to die from cancer. Also diabetes was somewhat related to death from cancers of the pancreas, ovary, colon, liver, rectum, lung, bladder and breast.
The study did not have enough proof on whether Type 1 diabetes, when the pancreas stops producing insulin, is associated with a risk for cancer.