Study finds Amplified Mortality Risk for Early Age Onset in Diabetics

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The impact of the age of disease onset for diabetes on cardiovascular risks and increased risk has been underestimated for long. A clear understanding of this is necessary for managing the diseases and evaluating the cardiovascular outcomes in younger patient populations. A recent observational study by researchers in Sweden conducted on a large cohort group and individual controls found a positive correlation between the age of diagnosis of diabetes and the excess risk of all-cause mortality and a range of cardiovascular risks.

What they uncovered was startling: people with younger onset of diabetes, particularly type 1 diabetes mellitus, were at substantially higher risk of death—estimated four times—than the aged ones. Even the risk of getting a serious cardiovascular outcome such as heart diseases and heart attacks was much higher in people below the age of 10 compared to the general population—the risk estimated is about thirty times higher. The same risk decreased to around size times when the cohort group’s age was 26–30. Broadly speaking, the life expectancy with early-onset of this chronic disease is estimated on an average 16 times less compared to those who are diabetes-free and 10 years shorter compared to patients who are diagnosed at an advanced age. Furthermore, the study suggested that these effects are more pronounced in women.

The findings are published in peer-reviewed journal medical The Lancet.

Health Data of Large Cohort Group and Individual Controls Followed for 10 Years

Over the last three decades, the incidence of the disease has risen in children. The researchers in the study accessed the data of disease onset 27,000 individuals who had with type 1 diabetes from Swedish National Diabetes Register and followed them for an average of 10 years. These were compared to the health data in 135,000 matched controls. The whole cohort aged 0 to 30 years was divided into five subgroups. Adjustments were made for the influence of a range of factors such as diabetes duration, sex, age, marital status, educational level, income, and region of birth.

Findings Suggest Wider Measures in Protecting Cardiovascular Risk in Children below 14 Yrs

The findings bear vast significance for managing the mortality and morbidity of Type 1 diabetes mellitus in younger populations, especially children. Of note, around half of the people diagnosed with the disease are less than 14 years of age. The findings, more of observational nature, than of a concrete cause and effect relationship, suggest the need for more comprehensive controls and cardio-protective measures to lower the mortality risk in all the high-risk populations. The measures included taking statins and drugs for lowering the blood-pressure in affected. Furthermore, the researchers suggested to include the age of onset as a cardiovascular risk stratifier.

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