HealthDay News — Children and young adults with diabetes mellitus (DM) have a 5-fold increased risk of all-cause mortality and a 7-fold increased risk of sudden cardiac death (SCD) compared with age-matched individuals without DM, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions, being held November 11 to 15 in Anaheim, California.

Jesper Svane, from Copenhagen University Hospital in Denmark, and colleagues identified all individuals in Denmark aged 1 to 35 years in 2000-09 and 36 to 49 years in 2007-09. A total of 14,294 deaths over the study period were identified, with cause of death established based death certificates and autopsy reports. In addition, the Danish Register of Medicinal Product Statistics was used to identify individuals with type 1 DM (treatment with insulin or insulin-analogs only) and type 2 DM (treatment with other antidiabetic agents with or without insulin). 

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The researchers found that among the individuals who died, 5 percent had DM (471 had type 1 DM, and 198 had type 2 DM). Those with DM had an all-cause mortality rate (MR) of 235 per 100,000 person-years versus 51 per 100,000 person-years among individuals without DM. Among those with diabetes, the leading cause of death was cardiac diseases (34%) with an MR ratio between those with and without DM of 8. Among deaths with DM, 17 percent were classified as sudden cardiac death, with an MR ratio between individuals with and without DM of 7. Based on autopsies, the most common causes of SCD were coronary artery disease (47%) and sudden arrhythmic death syndrome (26%).

“This study highlights the need for continuous cardiovascular risk monitoring and management in young persons with DM,” conclude the authors.

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