New study documents key risks associated with type 1

Here's some good news about the risks of living with type 1 diabetes.


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 1.


The same study reviewed earlier estimates of the risk that a person with type 1 diabetes would die within 20 to 30 years of diagnosis.


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 1969.


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 developed ESRD.


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."

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