A considerable increase in life expectancy for type 1 diabetics was recorded during a long-term prospective study that lasted for 30 years.
The life expectancy of the diabetics between 1965 and 1980 was found to be 68.8 years in the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health study. Compared to the people diagnosed with diabetes between 1950 and 1964, there was an improvement of 15 years.
Lead study author Trevor J. Orchard, M.D., professor of epidemiology, pediatrics and medicine at the University, said: “The estimated 15-year life expectancy improvement between the two groups persisted regardless of gender or pubertal status at diagnosis.”
The study included those who participated in the Pittsburgh Epidemiology of Diabetes Complications (EDC) study. This was a long-term prospective study in which the researchers studied childhood onset of this type of diabetes. It was started in 1986. The study subjects were 28 years old on average at the beginning and were 44 when it was complete. The diagnosis of their condition was made between 1950 and 1980.
“Type 1 diabetes mortality rates have decreased over time, but formal life expectancy estimates for those diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in the United States are lacking,” Orchard stated. “Therefore, we estimated the all-cause mortality experience and life expectancy of the EDC study cohort.”
From 1965 to 1980, the 30-year mortality rate for type 1 diabetics was 11.6%. This was a considerable decrease compared to the 35.6% for those who were diagnosed between 1950 and 1964.