Good News! Life Expectancy Increase for Type Ones

From the August 24, 2012 edition of Diabetes Health: "A 30-year study of life expectancy among people with type 1 diabetes showed a dramatic increase during the second half of the study, say researchers at the University of Pittsburgh. Type 1s diagnosed between 1965 and 1980 have a life expectancy of 68.8 years—15 years more than type 1s diagnosed between 1950 and 1964. In the same period, general life expectancy for US residents increased by less than one year.

The increase in life expectancy occurred regardless of patients’ sex or age at the time of diagnosis. It was associated with a significant decline in mortality: Patients diagnosed from 1965 through 1980 had a 30-year mortality rate of 11.6 percent, versus 35.6 percent for patients diagnosed from 1950 through 1964.

The researchers derived their results from the Pittsburgh Epidemiology of Diabetes Complications study, a long-term project that in 1986 began to examine type 1 diabetes patients who had been diagnosed in childhood."

Here is the link ;http://www.diabeteshealth/2012/8/24/7627/a-dramatic-life-expectancy-increase-for-Type-one-diabetics

Pardon me folks. this link may or may not work. I am still not proficient in copying it from the browser and fiddling back to the discussion page. Not exactly superbly internet astute, I am.

Anyway. The researchers conclude that insurance formularies and predictions are often based on the outdated info, so maybe we are NOW, finally, due for some positive changes in our ability to get life and/or long term health insurance. That is predicated, of course, on the insurers actualy looking at the data from the long-term study: Sounds good to me!! What do you think?

God bless,

When I was diagnosed 30+ years ago, the local hospital doc told me that if I took good care of myself and followed all the rules I might live 15 maybe even 20 more years :-)

The full abstract:

Improvements in the life expectancy of type 1 diabetes
The Pittsburgh Epidemiology of Diabetes Complications Study cohort
Rachel G. Miller1, Aaron M. Secrest1, Ravi K. Sharma2, Thomas J. S...


Survival in type 1 diabetes has improved, but the impact on life expectancy in the U.S. type 1 diabetes population is not well established. Our objective was to estimate the life expectancy of the Pittsburgh Epidemiology of Diabetes Complications (EDC) Study cohort and quantify improvements by comparing two subcohorts based on year of diabetes diagnosis (1950–1964 [n = 390] vs. 1965–1980 [n = 543]). The EDC study is a prospective cohort study of 933 participants with childhood-onset (aged <17 years) type 1 diabetes diagnosed at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh from 1950 to 1980. Mortality ascertainment was censored 31 December 2009. Abridged cohort life tables were constructed to calculate life expectancy. Death occurred in 237 (60.8%) of the 1950–1964 subcohort compared with 88 (16.2%) of the 1965–1980 subcohort. The life expectancy at birth for those diagnosed 1965–1980 was ∼15 years greater than participants diagnosed 1950–1964 (68.8 [95% CI 64.7–72.8] vs. 53.4 [50.8–56.0] years, respectively (P < 0.0001); this difference persisted regardless of sex or pubertal status at diagnosis. This improvement in life expectancy emphasizes the need for insurance companies to update analysis of the life expectancy of those with childhood-onset type 1 diabetes because weighting of insurance premiums is based on outdated estimates. Received November 21, 2011. Accepted May 15, 2012. © 2012 by the American Diabetes Association.

thanks tim. I did not know how to post the link , just the text from the article!! Y0u are a real help
God bless.

I have found some old Joslin review papers... after insulin was widely available and at least into the 30's and 40's, average T1 survival was ballpark 10-15 years after diagnosis and it was very much the exception when someone made it to 25 years (thus the "25 year Joslin medal").

Now 25 years doesn't get you a medal anymore, you get them at 50 and 75 though.

Imagine the day when most T1's are living 75 years after diagnosis and we have to go 100 years to get a medal. Now that will be sweet!!!

Great, I'm supposed to be kicking off, in 22 @*(#@#@#^@@ years according to somebody's table!!!!!! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

What they attribute it to? The "old" methods of having to sharpen their own needles back then -wg- ?! Is our "quality" of life better I wonder? Or did it remain the same regardless of lifespan? Gotta read it I guess


According to my diagnosis date(1967), My lifespan is but 11 more years ( up to 68).But whatever, I plan to just live each day like it IS my last, and get and give as much love and joy as I can.. I have never thought diabetes nor its complications would be the death of me,regardless of any study. Stu, the study did not mention "quality" of life, just length. Assessing "quality of life" is quite a subjective matter, prone to individual judgement rather than statistical analysis.. I am just hoping that the results of this research will help us out financially if the insurance companies become aware of them. Have a great one, everybody!
God bless,

That's great news! I'd almost say that should make us more readily insurable but I'm sure that insurance companies have little interest in taking that plunge.

Would this be considered good news or bad news? I went to the death clock website a couple of weeks ago and after putting in all the information it said I was already deceased. I say it's time to get busy living and let the chips fall where they may.

I would say the biggest implication of the study is to health insurance companies. The longer diabetics live, the more we eat into their profits. If we died immediately we would hardly cost them any money at all.

Unknown Diabetic,

I don't laugh too much, but you just made me laugh. Thanks.

Your welcome.

Yeh, I was diagnosed in 1961 but unlike the study prediction, I'm going to live forever and much longer than 68.8 years. Attitude in life has lots to do with longevity I think.

I do so agree, Linda. I am a Positivity Pollyanna and I think that perspective will keep me around just as long as I am supposed to be around; learning,living, loving, laughing.

God bless,

Amen Brunetta!