In 2015, a blockbuster study came to a shocking conclusion: Middle-age white Americans are dying at younger ages for the first time in decades, despite our advances in medical technology and the positive trends in other wealthy countries.
The research, by Princeton’s Anne Case and Angus Deaton, highlighted the links between economic struggles, suicides, and alcohol and drug overdoses. Since then, researchers have been scrambling to fully explain the trend, which now seems to be affecting the entire population. The efforts have suggested it’s not just “deaths of despair”— from opioids, alcohol, and suicides — that account for the dip in life expectancy, but that violence and cardiovascular disease seem to be major contributors, too.
Now, a new study provides another clue about what’s behind the backward sliding of American mortality: the hidden toll of diabetes.
Diabetes’ prevalence has exploded in the US over the past 20 years. Nearly 30 million Americans live with the disease today — more than three times the number in the early 1990s.
And researchers have long known that diabetes is an underreported cause of death on death certificates, the primary data source for determining life expectancy trends. That’s because people with diabetes often have multiple health conditions, or “comorbidities,” such as cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, and even cancer.
When both diabetes and heart disease are listed on a death certificate, the decision to list diabetes as the primary cause of death is “highly variable,” said Andrew Stokes, assistant professor of global health at Boston University’s School of Public Health. “Often times, the [death certificate] certifier will code the death as being caused by heart disease rather than a death from diabetes,” he added. “So to some extent, deaths that should be attributed to diabetes go to other causes.”
For new research in the journal PLoS One, Stokes and his co-author Samuel Preston of the University of Pennsylvania decided to look at more granular administrative records and surveys — the National Health Interview Study and the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey — to find out whether they could estimate how often diabetes might be the primary but overlooked cause of death.
To come up with an estimate, they calculated the prevalence of diabetes in the population and the increased risk of death among people with diabetes during five years of follow up.
Their results were astounding. While death certificates usually suggest that around 3.5 percent of deaths were caused by diabetes, the researchers found the number may be closer to 12 percent — three times higher than the typical estimates. Among obese individuals, the death rate from diabetes was even higher, at 19 percent.
That means that while diabetes is generally listed as the seventh most common cause of death in America, said Stokes, their results suggest it’s probably the third leading cause of death after cancer and heart disease.
“When we look at that surprising decline in life expectancy in 2015, and argue about the causes, we believe diabetes is somewhat obscured from this debate because it doesn’t jump out in the mortality statistics,” Stokes said. “For that same reason it may not be implicated in trends as much as it should be.”
As a result, relatively fewer health dollars and less policy attention are focused on diabetes compared to other more obvious contributors to this health crisis. If Preston and Stokes are correct, though, that needs to change.
“Mortality has been improving unusually slowly for about the last eight to 10 years,” said Preston. “We know the opioid epidemic is part of the problem. But I don’t think it accounts for all of the difficulties we’re facing. And an obvious place to look is obesity and diabetes.”
Source: Julia Belluz, Diabetes may be a major, overlooked reason Americans are now dying earlier, Vox, January 25, 2017.
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It’s becoming clear, researchers say, that there’s far too little evidence on how diabetes drugs affect the heart to make rational evidence-based judgments. “If you think the landscape is confusing, it really is,” said Dr. Leigh Simmons, an internist in Boston.
Biohackers are attempting to resurrect an older product to address the lack of generic insulin, Dr. Greene said.
“I don’t think that we should be surprised that a population of technologically savvy patients, whose lives are dependent on access to a supply of a biological agent, should be interested in taking means of production into their own hands, especially at time when insulin prices have risen at unpredictably alarming rates.”
It is nonsensical that we’re expected to prescribe these techniques to our patients while the medical guidelines don’t include another better, safer and far cheaper method: a diet low in carbohydrates.
While we wait for regenerative medicine to provide us with lab-grown pancreases to replace diseased ones and permanently treat diabetes, patients unfortunately will have to continue searching for better tools to manage their disease. The good news is that several approaches have already been undertaken to develop such tools to help them do so.
Some 27 million Americans are known to have diabetes, and a further 67 million are thought to be pre-diabetic. And a good many of these folks don’t even know that they have these conditions because type 2 diabetes can hang out with you without showing any symptoms at all. The same is the case with pre-diabetes.
Diabetes is big business, and many have been convinced that managing it forever is their only option. But it is possible to cure the disease.
The CDC's latest report offers no explanation for the rise. But, at least with type 2 diabetes, the rise of diabetes is linked to America's increasingly sedentary lifestyle. It's no coincidence that obesity is becoming a bigger problem as diabetes gets worse as well.
Hoodwinked by the diabetes industry, we spend, as a society, tons of money treating this so-called risk factor called hemoglobin A1c, yet all that money does almost nothing to save lives or help people live longer. We should be spending healthcare dollars that purchase health.
After a Facebook PR meltdown two years ago, Sanofi has emerged as a social media leader with a robust community for diabetics. Here's how they are writing #TheRules while the FDA catches up.
We all know that eating sticks of butter and cups of sugar for a snack then sitting around like a sloth is not a good idea, unless you’re Paula Deen and have found a way to turn that into millions of dollars.
Transplants of insulin-producing pancreas cells are a long hoped-for treatment for diabetes — and a new study shows they can protect the most seriously ill patients from a life-threatening complication of the disease, an important step toward U.S. approval.
Health self-tracking is in vogue. But is it more of a boon or a burden?
The miracle berry really is a bit miraculous in its effect and is certainly a good bit of fun as well. Ultimately it may even turn out to be beneficial to both dieters and diabetics.
Diabetes is one of the most common causes of blindness and along with hypertension is the most common cause of kidney failure worldwide. But, Diabetes may have finally met its match, 'The Rock'.
Diabetes has forced me to become a self-tracker, and I can't stand it.
We cannot afford simply to say that once a person reaches 65, glycemic goals and treatment methods can be casually loosened to avoid any chance of hypoglycemia. Many Americans with diabetes who are 65 or older but in otherwise good health have decades of life ahead of them. They deserve the opportunity to manage their diabetes in a way that will reduce their risk of debilitating complications, including hypoglycemia.
There is nothing wrong with the industry selling its drugs, but it is the job of the medical profession to guide what treatment patients receive. To do this properly, doctors with financial ties to diabetes drug industry shouldn’t be writing guidelines on how to use these drugs. At present, this is still common.
Millions of people with diabetes prick a finger more than five times a day to monitor their blood glucose levels. It's a painful and expensive process.
But now, Google's Life Sciences division is putting its immense resources behind new initiatives aimed at helping them better live with the disease.
While death certificates usually suggest that around 3.5 percent of deaths were caused by diabetes, the researchers found the number may be closer to 12 percent — three times higher than the typical estimates.
We know that diabetes is a very serious and frightening disease, but we also know that life with diabetes can be normal. It can even be sweet. Rather than think about diabetes in the negative sense of an illness, we prefer to think of it as our lifestyle. And we are determined to be healthy diabetics. We believe we are succeeding, and we hope that the information we provide through this site will help you do the same.
A freeware educational simulator program of glucose-insulin interaction and insulin dosage & dietary adjustment in diabetes mellitus.
We provide you with the information you need to manage your diabetes.
Better Medicine from healthgrades is a site that offers patients crucial and factual health information that is otherwise difficult to find. We want people to be ''informed'' patients, to be interested in their health, and to know what questions to ask their doctors.
Website provides an in-depth look at some cutting edge diabetes research your doctor may not have had time to read. It could make a huge difference in whether or not you get complications.
Information for the public and professionals about diabetes, including research, statistics, and educational publications.
The online community for kids, families and adults with diabetes.
This site is for you.
Many of our new tools are tailored to your personal situation, you will need to register and create a profile in order to access them.
Diabetes news and trends written by two contributers in a conversational format.
The mission of Defeat Diabetes Foundation is to inform, educate and alert the general public, diabetics, pre-diabetics and elected officials about the disease.
The Diabetes Action Research and Education Foundation (Diabetes Action), a non-profit 501(c)3 organization founded in 1990, is committed to the prevention and treatment of diabetes and to the funding of innovative, promising research aimed at finding a cure for diabetes and diabetes related complications.
Our mission is to help you adjust to living with diabetes and to promote wellness through a variety of personalized treatment and educational programs.
Diabetes Care is a journal for the health care practitioner that is intended to increase knowledge, stimulate research, and promote better management of people with diabetes
We Are Diabetes Care Professionals Interested In Dissemination Of Knowledge About "DIABETES
Latest Diabetic Cure-Control Information, Diabetes Treatment Updates.
You're a click away from a treasure of knowledge and support. If you're eager to start chatting, head straight to the forum.
Diabetes information that is easy to read and understand.
Keeping you connected with the latest diabetes updates.
Diabetesgenes.org aims to provide information for patients and professionals on research and clinical care in genetic types of diabetes.
CenterWatch is a Boston-based publishing and information services company and a business of The Thomson Corporation. We provide information services used by patients, pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device companies, CROs and research centers involved in clinical research around the world.
We offer a unique mix of news, views, reviews, guest posts, interviews, videos, cartoons, Q&A and any other type of quality content useful for people touched by diabetes.
The first port of call for New Zealanders with diabetes, those at risk and their families.
Diabetes news articles in German.
Diabetes news aggregator with articles, news, trial information from several major sources.
The Diabetes Resource Coalition of Long Island is an alliance of community based organizations, agencies, businesses and health care professionals committed to identifying resources and raising diabetes awareness through the provision of information and education about the prevention and treatment of diabetes.
Diabetes Self-Management is a publisher of authoritative, reliable health information for the growing number of people with diabetes who want to know more about controlling and managing their diabetes.
TrialNet is a network of 18 Clinical Centers working in cooperation with screening sites throughout the United States, Canada, Finland, United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, Australia, and New Zealand. This network is dedicated to the study, prevention, and early treatment of type 1 diabetes.
This is the blog for Blood Sugar 101.
Visit the main Blood Sugar 101 Web Site to learn more about how blood sugar works, what blood sugar levels cause organ damage, what blood sugar levels are safe and how to achieve those safe blood sugar levels.
Diabetes Voice is the quarterly magazine of the International Diabetes Federation (IDF). It covers the latest developments in diabetes care, education, prevention, research, health policy and economics, as well as themes related to living with diabetes. Diabetes Voice goes to the heart of issues that are crucial to all those who can further the promotion of diabetes care, prevention, and a cure worldwide.
Provides the latest research on diabetes.
DiabetesFriends.net is free social network for diabetics or people with an interest in diabetes.
Diabetes Health is the essential resource for people living with diabetes, both newly diagnosed and experienced.
The Mission of Diabetes In Control is to be the world leader of current and accurate on-line diabetes information for medical professionals.
Diabetes Monitor provides a comprehensive collection of information on diabetes, including type 1 and type 2 diabetes. We have a vast library of original articles covering topics such as diabetic supplies, nutrition and exercise, Medicare and glucose meters. We also offer an assortment of tools and resources that are not available from any other single source
The Diabetes Mall provides excellent information and products focused exclusively on diabetes. Our expertise in diabetes and commitment to providing easy-to-understand, cutting-edge information allows us to provide valuable resources...
Helping you live a healthier lifestyle as a diabetic.
Diabetic Connect is a social network that empowers people living with diabetes. We make it easy to start conversations, share treatments, read and post treatment recommendations, and much more.
We provide tools for our members to discuss the topics that they are passionate about. While the content is important, it is the sharing of a news story, the discovery of the latest treatments and the conversations between members that sets us apart.
Dedicated to diabetic dining and healthy living.
We continue to provide the latest information to make sure that our readers become informed medical consumers.
Diabetes and pregnancy, fertility issues, gestational diabetes, parenting, women's issues.
Stay connected with diabetes information with dlife.
Up to date with links to the latest diabetes research and information.
We offer quality education about controlling diabetes and incorporating it into the Jewish tradition and lifestyle.
To create a social media platform exclusive to those living with diabetes that facilitates meaningful friend support through it's unique communicative offerings and tangible reward incentives.
Diabetes News. Service for global professionals. Constantly updated news and information about health.
The HealthCentral Network, Inc. has a collection of owned and operated Web sites and multimedia affiliate properties providing timely, in-depth, trusted medical information, personalized tools and resources, and connections to a vast community of leading experts and patients for people seeking to manage and improve their health.
Diabetes is a common group of chronic metabolic diseases that cause high blood sugar (glucose) levels in the body due to defects in insulin production or function. Diabetes is also known as diabetes mellitus to distinguish it from a relatively rare metabolic disorder called diabetes insipidus that doesn't affect blood sugar.
The Idaho plate method is used for diabetes meal planning. It also works well for weight loss, teaching good nutrition, and improving blood glucose and lipids.
Type 2 diabetes and obesity present an enormous economic and social cost, and as such there is a compelling case for prevention.
Insulin Nation® delivers comprehensive information about the technology and science of diabetes therapy, and curates the best, most relevant news for the 6.5 million people in the US who take insulin. Topics covered include diabetes-specific technology and medicine, the science behind a potential cure, wearable and wireless health tech, the rich data produced by meters, pumps, and CGMs, and the people and organizations that impact the everyday lives of our readers – the “Citizens” of Insulin Nation.
Integrated Diabetes Services is dedicated to helping you live successfully with diabetes.
Providing links to online diabetes community discussions, diabetes news, and much more.
The JDA (Jewish Diabetes Association) is the nation's first and leading Jewish non-profit, non-sectarian health organization devoted to diabetes education and advocacy.
Joslin Diabetes Center is the only diabetes institution in the world that goes beyond a single focus. With efforts in these three critical areas, a synergy develops: researchers, clinicians and educators collaborate in ways that produce cutting-edge scientific discovery, unique clinical care models and pioneering educational strategies.
Symptoms, causes, treatments and effects from the Mayo Clinic.
The latest Diabetes News articles published daily. Includes news on type I diabetes (insulin-dependent) and type II diabetes (adult-onset) and prediabetes - treatment, medications, breakthroughs, causes and prevention options.
Diabetes is a disease in which your blood glucose, or sugar, levels are too high. Glucose comes from the foods you eat. Insulin is a hormone that helps the glucose get into your cells to give them energy. With type 1 diabetes, your body does not make insulin. With type 2 diabetes, the more common type, your body does not make or use insulin well. Without enough insulin, the glucose stays in your blood.
Diabetes is a disease that perhaps more than any other depends much more on the patient than on the doctor. Hence, the purpose of this website is to provide you with honest and accurate information to help you manage your diabetes.
Your Online Resource for Diabetes Treatment.
NDIC was established in 1978 to increase knowledge and understanding about diabetes among patients, health care professionals, and the general public. To carry out this mission, NDIC works closely with NIDDK's Diabetes Research and Training Centers; the National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP); professional, patient, and voluntary associations; Government agencies; and State health departments to identify and respond to informational needs about diabetes and its management.
We help increase knowledge and understanding about health and disease among patients, health professionals and the public.
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) conducts and supports basic and clinical research on many of the most serious diseases affecting public health.
NO LIMITS DIABETES (also known as Diabetic Teens Without Boundaries), grew out of the desires of teens who, in their younger years, had participated in camps for children with diabetes, but felt that they now needed programs that brought REAL challenges to help prepare them for the rest of their lives.
We're a team of Bay Area biohackers working on newer, simpler, less expensive ways to make insulin.
Founded in 1908, Prevent Blindness America is the nation's leading volunteer eye health and safety organization dedicated to fighting blindness and saving sight. Focused on promoting a continuum of vision care, Prevent Blindness America touches the lives of millions of people each year
ScienceDaily is one of the Internet's leading online magazines and Web portals devoted to science, technology, and medicine.
44, consultant, writer, speaker, brother, son, friend, partner, person with autoimmune (type 1) diabetes, former pumper, thinker, dreamer. Patients need to read the medical and scientific literature themselves before drawing conclusions. The popular press loves to publish abbreviated facts to fit into limited space, mine does not mince words or leave key facts out.
I started Six Until Me in May of 2005 because I was tired of Googling “diabetes” and coming up with little more than a list of complications and frightening stories. Where were all the people who were living with this disease, like I have been since I was a little girl? Was I the only diabetic out there who felt alone?
The American Diabetes Association launched the Stop Diabetes movement during American Diabetes Month (November) 2009. Since then, over 677,728 people have joined this movement to take a stand against this disease, demonstrating that even when it comes to a disease that affects each of us in different ways, we are stronger when we unite against it.
TCOYD's Mission is to educate and motivate people with diabetes and their loved ones, to take a more active role in their condition, in order to live healthier, happier, and more productive lives.
The Diabetic News will keep you well informed and up to date with the latest developments in diabetes related health.
The Diabetes Quiz is an educational program to help
kids and adults learn about Diabetes.
The Diabetic Newsletter is widely regarded as one of the best diabetes-related newsletters online. Sent every other Monday since 1999, each issue features diabetic-friendly recipes, diabetes-related articles, news about treatments, therapy and medications, diabetes and health factoids, and useful information relating to cooking and health.
TIF is focusing on islet replacement without immunosuppression, a procedure which many believe will allow people with diabetes to continuously maintain normal blood sugar levels, without the crude intervention of injected insulin, and without the many short-term and long-term problems associated with this process of disease management.
A diabetes think-tank and patient advocacy group for physicians.
We believe that the purpose of technology is to help people. We are giving diabetes data a place to live. We’re taking open source approaches that have been proven in areas from banking to search to security, and we’re applying the same principles to diabetes software. You’d think we’d be late to the party, but we’re the first ones here.
Tu Diabetes is an Online Community where the members help each other out, educate ourselves and share the steps we take every day to stay healthy while living with this very serious condition.
Type 1 Parents is a community for Parents with Diabetic kids. We are more than your typical support group you will find on the net. We not only support our members, but also give them a place to be themselves to discuss a variety of topics.
WHO is the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations system. It is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries and monitoring and assessing health trends.