Scotland

Type 2 diabetes 'lowers life expectancies'

blood test Image copyright PA
Image caption Those who have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes are more likely to die earlier than those without the condition

Type 2 diabetes has been associated with a shorter life expectancy across Scotland, according to new research.

The study, led by the University of Edinburgh, found that the condition reduced lifespans across all levels of society.

Having type 2 diabetes lowered life expectancy by five and a half years for some people with the condition.

The health records of three million people in Scotland were used to generate estimated life expectancies.

About 5% of people in Scotland have diabetes, with type 2 making up 90% of cases.

What is type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition associated with obesity and family history and is more likely to be diagnosed in older people. It's more common than type 1 diabetes.

It is caused by problems with controlling blood sugar levels - either because the pancreas does not produce enough insulin, or if a body's cells do not react to insulin as they should.

The condition is treated by medication or controlling a person's diet.

The records of 250,000 people with type 2 diabetes were analysed and compared with 2.8 million people without the chronic condition.

The estimated life expectancies for people aged between 40 and 89 were then worked out.

Across all social levels, women over the age of 40 and men aged 40-80 with type 2 diabetes were expected to have shorter lives.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption "Healthy lifestyle choices" can help those with type 2 diabetes manage the condition

Only the life expectancies of men over 80 and from the most deprived areas were found not to be affected by the health condition.

Sarah Wild, a professor in epidemiology (the study of health and disease across populations) at the University of Edinburgh, said: "Our study suggests that to improve life expectancy, we should encourage prevention and management for type 2 diabetes across all of society.

"Although type 2 diabetes is a serious condition, healthy lifestyle choices can have a positive impact on management."

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