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Important facts about death from diabetes

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
Diabetes deaths higher than known, study finds

Researchers recently reviewed death statistics related to diabetes, finding mortality has been underestimated. The finding is important given the number of people diagnosed with the disease.


According to the new report diabetes is the third leading cause of death in the U.S.

Previous analyses suggest deaths from diabetes at 3.3 to 3.7 percent. The new finding boosts that statistic to 11.5 percent.

Boston University School of Public Health researchers published their finding in the journal PLOS One.

The finding is based on a review of data from the National Health Interview Study [NHIS]) and the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey

See: Type 2 diabetes symptoms you must recognize

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Diabetes deaths unaccounted for

“The frequency with which diabetes is listed as the underlying cause of death is not a reliable indicator of its actual contribution to the national mortality profile,” co-authors Dr. Andrew Stokes and Dr. Samuel Preston explain.

Deaths from the disease were more prevalant when factoring for obesity, the study also found.

The study sounds gloomy given the high number of diabetics in the U.S. and worldwide. But it's also an opportunity.

If you're struggling trying to control your blood sugar levels or just not trying, the finding could provide an impetus to look for ways to lose weight, experiment with foods that keep your blood sugar in check or speak with your doctor about medications that suit your lifestyle and pocketbook.

Complications of diabetes are the main cause of the results of the finding. Managing your blood sugar and taking your medications regularly can help prevent kidney and heart disease, nerve damage and eye disease.