(HealthDay News) — Type 2 diabetes still substantially increases mortality risk, with the degree of risk varying with age, renal complications, and glycemic control, according to research published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The new study used data from the Swedish National Diabetes Register to compare the mortality rate among 435 369 people with type 2 diabetes with that of a healthy control group of 2.1 million people. The researchers found that excess risk for death was 2 to 3 times higher among those aged younger than 55 years, compared with between 30% and 40% higher for patients aged 65 to 75 years.

Patients aged younger than 55 years who have entered end-stage renal disease are 14 times more likely to die than a healthy person. End-stage renal disease also multiplies the mortality risk 7-fold for those aged 55 to 64 years, and 6-fold for those aged 65 to 74 years, the investigators found.

Anyone who did not manage their diabetes through lifestyle changes, insulin, or medication faced a greatly increased risk for death, said study coauthor Mikhail Kosiborod, MD, who is a cardiologist at Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute and a professor of medicine at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. 

“If you look at the data, regardless of the age we look at, regardless of everything else, the worse the glycemic control the higher the mortality,” he told HealthDay.


  1. Tancredi M, Rosengren A, Svensson A-M, et al. Excess Mortality among Persons with Type 2 Diabetes. N Engl J Med. 2015;373:1720-1732.