(HealthDay News) – Those able to survive with type 2 diabetes (T2DM) for >40 years are more likely to have better glycemic control, lower blood pressure, and more favorable lipid profiles, according to a study published online April 5 in Diabetes Care.

Viswanathan Mohan, MD, PhD, from the Madras Diabetes Research Foundation in India, and colleagues retrospectively identified T2DM survivors (>40 years duration) from >200,000 case records. Survivors were matched to non-survivors based on age at diagnosis and sex. Retinal photography was used to diagnose retinopathy. Ankle-brachial index <0.9, vibration perception threshold >20 V were used to assess peripheral vascular disease and neuropathy.

The researchers found that mean duration of diabetes of survivors (n=238) was 43.7 years and that of the non-survivors (n=307), at time of death, was 22.4 years (P<0.001). There was significantly higher systolic and diastolic blood pressures, plasma glucose, HbA1c, serum cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and lower HDL cholesterol in non-survivors compared with long-term survivors. The most common causes of death were myocardial infarction (46.4%) and renal failure (16.6%). Survivors had a higher prevalence of most complications because of longer duration and older age, including: retinopathy, 76% in survivors vs. 62% in non-survivors; microalbuminuria, 39.1% vs. 27.3%; macroalbuminuria, 8.4% vs. 23.7%; neuropathy, 86.5% vs. 63.5%; peripheral vascular disease, 23.1% vs. 11.4%; and coronary artery disease, 44.5% vs. 40.7%.

“Long-term survivors with T2DM had better glycemic and blood pressure control and more favorable lipid profiles,” the authors write.

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