Diabetes and heart disease cut life expectancy

The life expectancy of people with both diabetes and heart disease is much lower than those with just one of these conditions or no disease, a new study has found.

UK researchers analysed the deaths of over 135,000 people, which occurred among 1.2 million people who were being monitored over a long-term period.

They found that people with a combination of diabetes and heart disease had a ‘substantially lower life expectancy'.

"An individual in their 60s who has both conditions has an average reduction in life expectancy of about 15 years," commented Dr Emanuele Di Angelantonio of the University of Cambridge.

The study focused on different combinations of diabetes, stroke and heart attack - these are known as cardiometabolic diseases. The researchers estimated that at the age of 60, men who had two of these conditions reduced their life expectancy by 12 years, while those with all three of the conditions, reduced their life expectancy by 14 years.

Among women aged 60, life expectancy fell by 13 years if two of these conditions were present, and by 16 years if all three were present.

Furthermore, the results were even more startling if people were younger. Men aged 40 with all three cardiometabolic conditions faced an average reduced life expectancy of 23 years, while women faced a 20-year reduction.

"Our results highlight the importance of preventing heart disease and stroke amongst patients with diabetes, and likewise averting diabetes amongst heart disease patients.

"Although patients with more than one condition constitute only a small proportion of the population at large, in real terms the numbers are not insignificant. Measures aimed at reducing diabetes and heart disease amongst this group could have a dramatic impact on their lives," commented Prof John Danesh of the University of Cambridge.

Details of these findings are published in The Journal of the American Medical Association.

For more information on heart disease, see our Heart Disease Clinic here


[Posted: Wed 08/07/2015]

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