Diabetes & Ethnicity: Potential Life Years Lost

January 19, 2017
Bobby Lazzara, MD

What role, if any, does ethnicity play in potential life years lost in patients with diabetes?

If you compared life years lost in people with type 2 diabetes and looked at ethnicity, what would the results be?

In a cohort study from the UK published in Diabetes Care, researchers looked at 383 general practices in England, with over 180,000 patients with type 2 diabetes matched to over 900,000 controls.

Interestingly, at age 65 and older, South Asians with diabetes had a 1.1-year greater life expectancy than non-diabetic South Asians – and South Asians had a lower risk of dying from cancer and respiratory and heart diseases compared to whites and blacks, with whites experiencing the greatest years of life lost.

Based on their findings, the authors highlight risk factor management focused on cardiovascular disease, especially in whites in this population.