Women's College Research Institute

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Diabetes mortality rates in Canada and UK continue to decrease

Story from Connect, June 24, 2013


New findings in diabetes mortality research have been published in Diabetologia, the Journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes. Written by Dr. Lipscombe, Women’s College scientist and endocrinologist and assistant professor of medicine at the University of Toronto, and Dr. Marcus Lind of Sahlgrenska Academy and University of Gothenburg and colleagues, the study focused on the current mortality rate ratio in patients with diabetes versus those without and whether it has changed over time.

Previous studies on this topic have suggested that having diabetes increased a person’s mortality risk by 80 per cent. Since 2000, published studies have stated that this percentage is decreasing.

Dr. Lipscombe, Dr. Lind and colleagues chose Canada and the UK for analysis because both countries have population-based databases with mortality data on individuals with and without diabetes. In Canada, Ontario and The Health Improvement Network (THIN) databases were used. In Canada, the Ontario database was used and The Health Improvement Network (THIN) database was used in the UK.

Research findings proved that excess risk of mortality decreased by 39 per cent from 1996 to 2009. The statistics were the same for male and female diabetic patients as well. The excess risk of mortality for diabetic patients age 64 and under decreased by 25 to 40 per cent and by 50 to 65 per cent for diabetic patients 64 years old and older.

Authors say it is important to note treatment advancements, blood sugar control and diabetes screening all may have contributed to lower mortality rates.

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