Cardiovascular Disease Risk and Mortality in Adults with Type 1 Diabetes

Illustration of the cardiovascular systemThough many studies have highlighted the importance of glucose control in patients with type 1 diabetes (T1DM), there has been limited research in recent years on cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk and mortality in patients with the disease, according a study.

In the study, “Risk of cardiovascular disease and total mortality in adults with type 1 diabetes: Scottish registry linkage study,” researchers explored the risks of CVD in adults with T1DM and examined the effects of patients’ control of their CVD risk factors. The study was published online ahead of print in October 2012 in PLoS Medicine.

The researchers relied on the Scottish Care Information-Diabetes Collaboration database to identify all people aged 20 and above who were registered with T1DM between 2005 and 2007. They gathered data on major CVD events and deaths from a national hospital database and national death registry.

The study results showed that the age-adjusted incidence rate ratio (IRR) for patients’ first cardiovascular disease event tied to T1DM was higher in women than it was in men. The IRR for all-cause mortality linked to T1DM was similar in men and women.

In people between the ages of 60 and 69, there were approximately 3 extra deaths per 100 men with T1DM (compared to non-diabetic men), and approximately 2 extra deaths per 100 women with T1DM in that age range. Additionally, in people below the age of 40, 34 out of 123 deaths (among 10,173 people with T1DM in this age group) were tied to coma or diabetic ketoacidosis. In people aged 40 and above, the number of deaths related to coma and diabetic ketoacidosis was 37 out of 907 (among 12,739 patients).

The researchers note that according to their study, CVD risk and all-cause mortality tied to T1DM have declined compared to past studies; however, people with T1DM continue to have an increased risk of CVD and death relative to people who do not have diabetes. The study authors argue that efforts should be made to help reduce the risks of cardiovascular complications and death in people with T1DM, and to help them improve their glycemic control.

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