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Diabetes lifespan and CVD risk

Diabetes in middle-age can reduce people’s lifespan by more than seven years and increases the chance of developing heart disease, new research 'onfirms today.

A study by the University Medical Centre Rotterdam found that once past the age of 50, men with diabetes lived 7.5 years less than men without the condition while women with diabetes lived 8.2 years less.

Having diabetes at 50 years and older represents not only a significant increase in the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and mortality but also an important decrease in life expectancy and life expectancy free of cardiovascular disease,” the authors concluded.

The study followed over 5,000 men and women aged 28 to 62-years-old who were recruited between 1948 and 1952. They were followed for more than 46 years. Cathy Moulton, Care Advisor at Diabetes UK, said: “This is a large study that has produced interesting results. It further confirms that people with diabetes have a shorter life expectancy and are more at risk of cardiovascular problems than people without the condition.

We already know that life expectancy for people with Type 1 diabetes is reduced on average by 20 years, and by ten years in people with Type 2 diabetes. Mortality rates are up to five times higher for people with diabetes.

“We also know that 80 per cent of people with diabetes will die from cardiovascular complications.

“People need to realise that diabetes is a very serious condition. Other complications can include blindness, kidney disease and nerve damage that can lead to amputation.

“Early diagnosis and effective management of diabetes can help to reduce the risk of developing these complications. Working closely with a designated diabetes team to take control of the condition is very important. Taking any prescribed medication, eating a healthy balanced diet and getting regular physical activity are all essential in managing diabetes.”

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