HealthDay News — Trends in the increases of diagnosed diabetes incidence combined with declining mortality has increased the years spent living with the disease, according to researchers.

“Continued increases in the incidence of diagnosed diabetes combined with declining mortality have led to an acceleration of lifetime risk and more years spent with diabetes, but fewer years lost to the disease for the average individual with diabetes,” wrote Edward W. Gregg, PhD, of the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.

To link mortality and diabetes incidence, the investigators obtained data from the National Health Interview Survey for 598,216 patients from 1985 to 2011. The researchers excluded gestational diabetes data from the study.

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The lifetime risk of diagnosed diabetes in patients aged 20 years and older was 40.2% for men and 39.6% for women based on 2000 to 2011 data, representing a 20% and 13% increase, respectively, since 1986 to 1989. Hispanic male and female patients, and non-Hispanic black female patients, for whom lifetime risk now exceeds 50%, had the highest lifetime risks.

When diagnosed at age 40 years, the number of life-years lost to diabetes decreased from 7.7 years in 1990 to 1999 to 5.8 years in 2000 to 2011 in men and from 8.7 to 6.8 years in women over the same period. 

Due to the increasing diabetes prevalence, the average number of years lost because of diabetes for the population as a whole increased by 46% in men and 44% in women. Years spent with diabetes increased by 156% in men and by 70% in women.

“These findings mean that there will be a continued need for health services and extensive costs to manage the disease, and emphasize the need for effective interventions to reduce incidence,” concluded the researchers.


  1. Gregg E et al. The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology. 2014; doi: 10.1016/S2213-8587(14)70161-5