Death and complication rates declining in diabetes patients - but not in the young: CU Medicine

Local | 24 Sep 2020 7:08 pm

No improvements in death and complication rates were seen in young diabetes patients despite encouraging declining trends overall, according to researchers from the Faculty of Medicine at The Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Researchers analyzed the data of 770,000 people with diabetes and found that over a 16-year period between 2001 and 2016, the incidence of major complications such as coronary artery disease, heart failure and stroke declined by up to 80%, and deaths declined by 50%.

Despite the encouraging declining trends, these improvements were limited to middle-aged to older age groups, and no improvements were seen in young people.

In those aged under 45, the rates of diabetes-related complications and death have remained unchanged over time. In the latest estimates, young people with diabetes are five times more likely to die compared with their age-matched counterparts without diabetes.

Studies also show that the life expectancy of people with young-onset diabetes is shortened by seven to eight years compared with the general population, calling for urgent efforts to identify young people at risk of developing diabetes for early intervention given such seriousness of the situation.-Photo: CU Medicine

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