Here's some good news about the risks of living with type 1
Experts say your chances of an early death and your risk of
kidney disease both are much less than you may have believed.
Researchers in Finland say their findings contradict previous
estimates that among those with type 1, one in five would develop
end-stage renal disease (ESRD) within 20 years of diagnosis.
The Finns say that number is actually closer to one in 50 after
20 years and about one in 12 after 30 years of living with type
The same study reviewed earlier estimates of the risk that a
person with type 1 diabetes would die within 20 to 30 years of
Writing in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the
authors of this new report say rates of death within 20 years of
diagnosis have dropped by more than 50 percent since 1965 to
Lead author, administrative director of the Finnish Registry for
Kidney Diseases, Dr. Patrik Finne, said in the past, no large
population-based studies were done to truly assess the incidence of
ESRD in people with diabetes.
Dr Finne, a senior researcher at the University of Helsinki,
said the records of more than 20,000 Finns diagnosed with type 1
diabetes under the age of 30 between 1965 and 1969 were reviewed in
the course of this new research.
While previous estimates placed the risk of ESRD at 20 percent
after 20 years of diabetes, this study found the rate was only 2.2
percent after 20 years. After 30 years, the study found the rate of
ESRD was 7.8 percent.
And the risk of death dropped by 59 percent from the start of
the study, between 1965 to 1969, to near the end, 1980 to 1999.
Overall, 6.8 percent of the people died during the first 20 years,
and 15 percent died sometime during the 30 years following their
diagnosis. Most of the deaths occurred in people who had not
Dr Finne said this study didn't look at the reasons for the
reduction in deaths and kidney disease, but said that "the
treatment of type 1 diabetes has developed considerably since 1965.
For example, for more than 20 years, patients have been able to
measure blood glucose at home and adjust the insulin dose according
to these measurements."