Role of Diabetes in Premature Death Is Substantial

Risk of death from many nonvascular causes higher in people with diabetes

WEDNESDAY, March 2 (HealthDay News) -- Diabetes is substantially associated with premature mortality from cancers, infectious diseases, external causes, intentional self-harm, and degenerative disorders, according to research published in the March 3 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Sreenivasa Rao Kondapally Seshasai, M.D., of the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, and colleagues from the Emerging Risk Factors Collaboration examined data on 123,205 deaths among 820,900 individuals from 97 prospective studies to calculate the impact diabetes has on risk of death from cancer or other nonvascular conditions.

The researchers established the hazard ratios for death from any cause, death from cancer, death from vascular causes, and death from other causes to be 1.8, 1.25, 2.32, and 1.73, respectively, for people with diabetes compared to people without diabetes after adjustment for age, sex, smoking status, and body mass index. Diabetes was moderately associated with cancers of the liver, pancreas, ovary, colorectum, lung, bladder, and breast. It was also associated with death from renal disease, liver disease, pneumonia and other infectious diseases, mental disorders, nonhepatic digestive diseases, external causes, intentional self-harm, nervous-system disorders, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. In addition fasting glucose levels above 100 mg per deciliter, but not levels of 70 to 100 mg per deciliter, were associated with death.

"In addition to vascular disease, diabetes is associated with substantial premature death from several cancers, infectious diseases, external causes, intentional self-harm, and degenerative disorders, independent of several major risk factors," the authors write.

The research was supported in part by Pfizer. Several authors disclosed financial relationships with multiple pharmaceutical companies, including Pfizer.

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