Type 2 diabetes can cut six years of your life

London: Developing diabetes in middle age may cut your life short by about six years, a new study has suggested.

The study, involving more than 250 scientists from 25 countries, was the first such research that linked reduction of life expectancy to having type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes is known to double the risk of heart attacks and strokes, but the new findings showed that people with type 2 diabetes are also at greater risk of dying from cancer, infection and mental disorders, the Daily Mail reported.

For the study, scientists from the Emerging Risk Factors Collaboration — co-ordinated by the University of Cambridge — analysed data on 820,900 people, each of whom was monitored for about a decade.

Even after accounting for other risk factors such as age, sex, obesity and smoking, the researchers found people with diabetes were at increased risk of death from several kind of cancers, infections, mental disorders, and liver, digestive, kidney and lung diseases.

About 60 per cent of the reduced life expectancy in people with diabetes is attributable to blood vessel diseases — such as heart attacks and strokes.

Only a small part of these associations are explained by obesity, blood pressure, or high levels of fat in the blood — conditions which often co-exist with diabetes.

The study also suggested that people with diabetes may be at increased risk of death from intentional self-harm — a finding which the scientists say requires further study.

Researcher Naveed Sattar of the University of Glasgow said: "The findings not only show the extensive range of complications linked to diabetes, but also the importance of raised sugar levels, as opposed to cholesterol and blood pressure to such complications.

"Overall, the findings should help incentivise diabetes prevention in those at high risk. There is also some good news here.

"We show that a halving of the risk of premature death in patients with diabetes compared to those without, over the last four decades, is almost certainly linked to better treatment in diabetes patients.