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Type 1 Diabetes: Life Expectancy May Improve for Current Generation, says Study

Life expectancy of the present generation with type 1 diabetes may go up, reveals a new study from Scotland.

Type 1 diabetes, which is also known as juvenile diabetes, is a condition where the body does not produce insulin to convert sugars, starches and other foods into energy. At the same time, the immune system destroys insulin-producing glands in the pancreas.

While a previous research noted a gap of 15 to 27 years less in the life expectancy of the people affected with type 1 disease, the new study carried out by researchers of Dundee University states that they may live 11 to 13 years less than others. As per researchers, the study help in future care plans.

The new study consisted of an analysis, on a national data from Scotland, of 24,691 people, who were diagnosed with type 1 diabetes from 2008 to 2010. The data proved while type 1 diabetes affected men would live about 11 years less than normal men, the affected women would live about 13 years less than normal women.

The data shows men with diabetes lived for 46.2 further years after turning 20, compared to 57.3 years for men without it. Whereas women with the disease from the age of 20 was an additional 48.1 years, compared to 61 years among women without it.

Professor Helen Colhoun of Dundee University, said, “It’s important to stress that these are averages. Some people with type 1 diabetes will achieve a very long life expectancy and some people will have a short life expectancy. These are estimates.”

The heart diseases and kidney problems are a major hurdle for the life expectancy and  controlling risk factors on heart diseases as well as control over the blood sugar levels will help in the increase in life expectancy.

Colhoun said, “For type 1 diabetes, the key thing is really glycemic control, because it in turn determines your kidney health, for example, which in turn has a big impact on cardiovascular health.”

Meanwhile, the study also states that for people who manage to have a tight control over the blood sugar, chances are less likely to die 27 years early.

The findings have been published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.


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