U.S. sees drop in deaths linked to diabetes

May 22, 2012
U.S. sees drop in deaths linked to diabetes
Better control of risk factors, improved care making the difference, CDC says.

(HealthDay) -- Healthier lifestyles and better disease management led to a sharp drop in death rates for Americans with diabetes between 1997 and 2006, especially deaths caused by heart disease and stroke, a new federal government report shows.

During that time, deaths from all causes for Americans with fell by 23 percent and deaths caused by and stroke in this group declined by 40 percent, according to the analysis of 1997-2004 National data on nearly 250,000 adults.

One expert said the findings were reason for hope.

"The encouraging news that less are dying from heart disease and stroke is a testament to multiple factors that have changed the playing field," said Dr. Tara Narula, a cardiologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

The study was conducted by researchers at the U.S. and the U.S. National Institutes of Health. They stressed that despite improvements in care, adults with diabetes are still more likely to die at a younger age than those without the disease. Nevertheless, the gap is narrowing, they said.

Contributing to the decline in death rates among people with diabetes were improved medical treatments for heart disease, better management of diabetes, better control of and , and healthy among , who were less likely to smoke and more likely to be physically active than in the past.

Narula agreed, noting that improvements in drug therapy and control of risk factors have been key to keeping diabetic patients healthier for longer. Advances in the surgical care of heart disease have helped, too, she said.

"Finally, widespread educational campaigns about heart disease and diabetes have increased awareness in the general public and physician practice of how diabetes affects the cardiovascular system and the benefits of stricter ," Narula said. All of these changes "have additive effects.
So, while overall obesity and diabetes rates may be climbing, our approach to treating diabetics aggressively with medication, intervention and teaching has improved," she said.

However, Narula and the CDC researchers noted that obesity levels among people with diabetes continued to increase during the study period.

"Taking care of your heart through choices is making a difference, but Americans continue to die from a disease that can be prevented," Ann Albright, director of CDC's division of diabetes translation, said in a CDC news release. "Although the cardiovascular disease death rate for people with diabetes has dropped, it is still twice as high as for adults without diabetes."

The study was published May 22 in the journal Diabetes Care.

Previous research has found that rates of heart disease and stroke are declining for all U.S. adults, and those rates are dropping faster for people with diabetes for those without diabetes.

Recent CDC studies also found that people with diabetes have declining rates of kidney failure, amputation of feet and legs, and hospitalization for heart disease and stroke.

The number of Americans diagnosed with diabetes has tripled since 1980. The CDC estimates that 25.8 million Americans currently have diabetes, but 7 million of them are not aware they have the disease.

In 2009, diabetes was the seventh leading cause of death in the United States, and is the leading cause of new cases of kidney failure, blindness among adults younger than 75, and amputation of feet and legs not related to injury.

Medical costs for people with diabetes are more than twice as high as for people without diabetes. The estimated total costs of diabetes in the United States are $174 billion, including $116 in direct medical costs.

Explore further: Long-time diabetics have increased risk of stroke

More information: The U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke has more about type 2 diabetes.


Related Stories

Long-time diabetics have increased risk of stroke

March 1, 2012
The longer you have diabetes, the higher your risk for stroke, according to a study in Stroke, an American Heart Association journal.

The leading cause of death for diabetics: Getting to the heart of problem

February 13, 2012
Millions of people suffer from type 2 diabetes. The leading cause of death in these patients is heart disease. Joseph Hill and colleagues, at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, have now identified, ...

Make a plan to prevent diabetes, complications

November 3, 2011
In observance of National Diabetes Month and World Diabetes Day on Nov. 14, the National Institutes of Health urges people to set goals and make plans to prevent diabetes and diabetes-related complications.

Recommended for you

Genetic discovery may help better identify children at risk for type 1 diabetes

January 17, 2018
Six novel chromosomal regions identified by scientists leading a large, prospective study of children at risk for type 1 diabetes will enable the discovery of more genes that cause the disease and more targets for treating ...

Women who have gestational diabetes in pregnancy are at higher risk of future health issues

January 16, 2018
Women who have gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) during pregnancy have a higher than usual risk of developing type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and ischemic heart disease in the future, according to new research led by the ...

Diabetes gene found that causes low and high blood sugar levels in the same family

January 15, 2018
A study of families with rare blood sugar conditions has revealed a new gene thought to be critical in the regulation of insulin, the key hormone in diabetes.

Discovery could lead to new therapies for diabetics

January 12, 2018
New research by MDI Biological Laboratory scientist Sandra Rieger, Ph.D., and her team has demonstrated that an enzyme she had previously identified as playing a role in peripheral neuropathy induced by cancer chemotherapy ...

Enzyme shown to regulate inflammation and metabolism in fat tissue

January 11, 2018
The human body has two primary kinds of fat—white fat, which stores excess calories and is associated with obesity, and brown fat, which burns calories in order to produce heat and has garnered interest as a potential means ...

Big strides made in diabetes care

January 5, 2018
(HealthDay)—This past year was a busy, productive one for diabetes research and care.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.