Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 8th 2015 Contents On average, people with type 1 dia-
betes die 11 to 13 years earlier than peo-
ple without the condition, according
to a new study from Scotland.
While the news may be disheartening
for people with type 1 diabetes, the
study s senior researcher said the new
results are more encouraging than pre-
vious estimates that found larger gaps
in life expectancies.
An important message is that the dif-
ference in life expectancy is narrowing,
said Dr Helen Colhoun of the University
of Dundee School of Medicine in Scot-
"It s not zero," she said. "The goal is
to get it to zero."
Among people with type 1 diabetes,
formerly known as juvenile diabetes, the
body s immune system destroys insulin-
producing cells in the pancreas. Insulin
removes sugar from the bloodstream so
it can be used for energy.
Instead, those people need to inject
insulin and pay special attention to their
blood sugar -- or glucose -- levels.
Untreated, type 1 diabetes can lead to
heart, blood vessel, kidney, eye, and
About 29.1 million Americans have
diabetes, according to the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention. About
five per cent of those have type 1 dia-
The researchers write in Jama that
according to earlier data from the UK,
people there with type 1 diabetes died
an average of 15 to 20 years earlier than
nondiabetics. A 1970s report put the
decrease in life expectancy at 27 years
for type 1 diabetics in the U.S., and a
1980s report from New Zealand put it
at 16.5 years.
"They re mostly very old," Colhoun
said of the estimates. She said the correct
information is important, because it
shows how far care for type 1 diabetes
For the new study, the researchers
used national data from Scotland on
24,691 people diagnosed with type 1
diabetes from 2008 to 2010.
From that data, they estimated that
men with type 1 diabetes would live
about 11 fewer years than men without
the condition. Women with type 1 dia-
betes would live about 13 fewer years
than those without the condition.
At age 20, for example, people with
type 1 diabetes could expect to live, on
average, to age 66 (for men) or 68 (for
women). Those without type 1 diabetes,
however, would on average live to ages
77 (for men) or 81 (for women).
Even among people with type 1
diabetes and preserved kidney func-
tion, who presumably took care of
themselves, there was still about
an eight year gap in life expectancy,
the researchers found.
"It s important to stress that
these are averages," said Colhoun.
"Some people with type 1 diabetes
will achieve a very long life
expectancy and some people will
have a short life expectancy. These
Overall, the largest contributer
to loss of life expectancy was heart
disease. People who died younger
than age 50 were more likely to die
of more short-lived problems, how-
ever. Those include diabetic comas
and ketoacidosis, which is when
the body begins to break down fat
and starts producing toxic acids.
Colhoun said the new results
emphasise the need for people with
type 1 diabetes to have tight control
of their blood sugar levels. Addi-
tionally, they should control their
risk factors for heart disease.
"For type 1 diabetes, the key thing
is really glycemic control, because
it in turn determines your kidney
health -- for example -- which in
turn has a big impact on cardio-
vascular health," she said.
In a second study in the
same journal, researchers
compared 711 people who
maintained tight control
over their blood sugar levels
for seven years, with 730
people who did not main-
tain rigorous control over
their sugar levels.
Overall, people who
control over their
blood sugar were
less likely to die over
27 years, compared
to those who did not.
don t have a
way to cure
diabetes, at least we have a way to
preserve health and the futures of
people with type 1 diabetes," said
Dr. Lori Laffel of the Joslin Diabetes
Center in Boston. (Reuters)
body & soul
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, January 8, 2015
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simple brochures and flyers for print and electronic (PDF, HTML) media.
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Unsuitable applications will not be acknowledged
Life expectancy for type 1 diabetes may be improving
The number of children treated
annually for accidental pot consump-
tion in Colorado has reached double-
digits and a drug treatment
chain has seen a surge of teens
treated for cannabis abuse, a
leading US anti-marijuana
group said on Monday.
In a report, marijuana
legalisation foe Smart
Approaches to Marijuana
(SAM) also pointed to high-
er-than-average use in
the first states to
ational cannabis, Colorado
and Washington state, and an
increase in burns from butane
hash oil production.
"We need a
brakes on the marijua-
na industry," SAM s president,
Kevin Sabet, said in an interview.
"When we have hospitalisations and
burns and deaths, we need to stop many
of these products from being sold."
The report comes amid rapidly shift-
ing state laws governing marijuana use.
Voters in four US states opted to legalise
its recreational use, most recently in
Oregon and Alaska. Marijuana remains
illegal under federal law.
Legalisation opponents say Wash-
ington state and Colorado have been
flooded with dangerous products, from
infused candies and concentrates, many
far stronger than what might have been
smoked in the 1960s.
At least 14 Colorado children ages
three to seven were sent to hospitals in
the first half of 2014 for acciden-
tally ingesting marijuana products,
compared with eight in
2013 and four between
2008 and 2011, SAM said of
In Colorado, teen mar-
ijuana abuse treat-
ment at about a
dozen Arapahoe House
increased by 66 per
cent between 2011 and
2014, SAM cited
that group as
Separately on Mon-
day, Colorado health officials
announced a $4 million
Internet, television and radio
aimed at exposing the dangers of
cannabis-infused products and aspects
of the law.
Use among people ages 18 and older
from 2011-2013 in Colorado and Wash-
ington has risen about three percentage
points, from roughly 16 to 19 per cent
and from 15 to 18 per cent, respectively,
SAM said, citing federal data. The
national average is about 12 per cent.
The University of Colorado observed
17 cases of marijuana-related burns in
2014 and 11 cases in 2013, largely from
botched butane hash oil extractions,
with one case each in the three years
prior, SAM said. (Reuters)
needed after surge in
YOUR DAILY HEALTH
News and advice
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