(HealthDay News) — There has been an increase in years spent with diabetes due to trends of continued increases in the incidence of diagnosed diabetes combined with declining mortality, according to research published online August 13 in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.

Edward W. Gregg, PhD, from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues linked mortality data and diabetes incidence data obtained from the National Health Interview Survey for 598,216 adults (1985–2011). Cohorts were classified as 1985–1989, 1990–1999, and 2000–2011. Gestational diabetes was excluded.

The researchers found that the lifetime risk of diagnosed diabetes from age 20 years was 40.2% for men and 39.6% for women based on 2000–2011 data, representing increases of 20 and 13 percentage points, respectively, since 1985–1989. Hispanic men and women, and non-Hispanic black women, 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 1990–1999 to 5.8 years in 2000–2011 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,” the authors write.

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