Type 1 Life Expectancy

Hi, Sorry to introduce a gloomy subject & question but have just read on Diabetes UK website that life expectancy for a type 1 diabetic is reduced by `over 20 years`. I have been type 1 32 years, no real issues despite a long period of life without good control. Doing better thesedays. Just a little shocked to read this. Never really think too much about my condition, just kinda get on with it and dont read or look at anything regarding it. Is it really 20 yrs reduction!!!??? Chris

I think those numbers lump all types together. I know that type 2 diabetics have shortened life expectancies but are also generally overweight( but not always), so there is the question of multiple risk factors.

I recently got life insurance for which I was put through the ringer and of course I have to pay more for it than the average 40 year old would.

The agent told me that type 1 diabetes does not increase the premium as much as things like high blood pressure or heart disease.

The problem is quality of life, They sort of expect us to live to 90, but blind and with no legs on dialysis.

Of course how well we control our conditions throws a wrench in the whole forecast idea.

And of course things are very different than they were 20 years ago. Many of the people who are dying today lived years with little or no testing. and on one injection per day.

I plan to live to 95 with my legs and my eyes and kidneys in tact.

Someone - I think Brunetta posted about this a few months ago. Here is a quote from a USA Today article:

Life expectancy at birth for someone diagnosed with type 1 diabetes between 1965 and 1980 was estimated to be 68.8 years compared to 72.4 years for the general population. But, for someone diagnosed with type 1 diabetes between 1950 and 1964 the estimated life expectancy at birth was just 53.4 years.

You're clearly in the 1965 - 1980 cohort so the drop in life expectancy on average seems to be about 4 years not 20. The key is to be above average :-)


One contributing factor is that our livers convert extra blood sugars into cholesterol, that's why our cholesterol levels are higher than normal. All that extra sugar and cholesterol build up in our veins then our tissues don't get the stuff they're supposed to get or at least not as much as they should. Circulation is key to our survival. Without it our expectancy is seriously reduced.