Middle-aged patients with type 2 diabetes, particularly women and those young than 55, have a two to three times higher risk of all-cause and cardiovascular mortality than people without diabetes, according to research published online ahead of print in Diabetes Care.

Kathryn S. Taylor, PhD, of the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, and colleagues conducted a cohort study using data from the General Practice Research Database from 2004 to 2010 for 21,798 people with type 2 diabetes and 65,300 age- and sex-matched individuals without diabetes. The investigators sought to assess the relative risk of all-cause and cardiovascular mortality in middle-aged people aged 40 to 65 years.

Compared with matched controls, patients with type 2 diabetes had a twofold higher risk of all-cause mortality and a threefold higher risk of cardiovascular mortality, even after adjusting for smoking. Individuals with the highest risk were women and patients under the age of 55 years. The overall rate of monitoring and medication rates were higher for those with diabetes than in healthy controls.

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“Our study highlights the important need to continue efforts to improve life expectancy in people with type 2 diabetes,” the researchers wrote. “This appears to be particularly important for women and for younger middle-aged people.”