All-cause mortality rates in patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus compared with a non-diabetic population from the UK general practice research database, 1992-1999

Diabetologia. 2006 Apr;49(4):660-6. doi: 10.1007/s00125-005-0120-4. Epub 2006 Jan 24.


Aims/hypothesis: We compiled up to date estimates of the absolute and relative risk of all-cause mortality in patients with type 1 diabetes in the UK.

Materials and methods: We selected patients with type 1 diabetes (n=7,713), and for each of these diabetic subjects five age- and sex-matched control subjects without diabetes (n=38,518) from the General Practice Research Database (GPRD). Baseline was 1 January 1992; subjects were followed until 1999. The GPRD is a large primary-care database containing morbidity and mortality data of a large sample representative of the UK population. Deaths occurring in the follow-up period were identified.

Results: The study comprised 208,178 person-years of follow-up. The prevalence of type 1 diabetes was 2.15/1,000 subjects in 1992 (mean age 33 years, SD 15). Annual mortality rates were 8.0 per 1,000 person-years (95% CI 7.2-8.9) in type 1 diabetic subjects compared with 2.4 per 1,000 person-years (95% CI 2.2-2.6) in those without diabetes (hazard ratio [HR]=3.7, 95% CI 3.2-4.3). The increased mortality rates in patients with type 1 diabetes were apparent across all age-bands. The HR was higher in women (HR=4.5, 95% CI 3.5-5.6 compared with non-diabetic women) than men (HR=3.3, 95% CI 2.7-4.0), such that the sex difference (p<0.0001) in mortality in the non-diabetic population was abolished (p=0.3) in the type 1 diabetic patients. The predominant cause of death in patients with type 1 diabetes was cardiovascular disease.

Conclusions/interpretation: Despite advances in care, UK mortality rates in the past decade continue to be much greater in patients with type 1 diabetes than in those without diabetes.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cause of Death*
  • Databases, Factual
  • Demography
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / complications*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / mortality*
  • Family Practice
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sex Characteristics
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology