Aim: To determine rates and risk factors for all-cause mortality in African-Americans with Type 1 diabetes from a 3-year observational follow-up study of 725 African-Americans with Type 1 diabetes conducted between 1 January 1999 and 31 December 2001.
Methods: Date of death was ascertained either from telephone contact with the patient's family or from relatives or on line review of the US Social Security death index.
Results: Since the initial examination, 131 (18.1%) patients, 60 (20%) men and 71 (17%) women, have died. At the time of death, the mean age of the men was 40.7 +/- 10.6 years and that of the women 39.4 +/- 10.5 years. The median duration of diabetes at the baseline examination was 8.04 years, interquartile range (IQR) 3.76-15.22 years for men and median 10.54, IQR 4.49-18.36 years for women. Three-year mortality rates were 7.1% for women and 10.6% for men. Age-adjusted mortality rates were not significantly different between men and women. Relative to the general US and the New Jersey African-American population, standardized mortality ratios of African-Americans with Type 1 diabetes were 12 and six times greater for women and men, respectively. Older age, low socio-economic status, low body mass index, high diastolic blood pressure, macroangiopathy, proteinuria, severe diabetic retinopathy and heavy alcohol consumption were independent risk factors for all-cause mortality. In patients with microproteinuria at initial examination, the mortality rate for men was twice that of women.
Conclusion: Microproteinuria and other potentially modifiable factors, including hypertension, macroangiopathy and heavy alcohol consumption, are independent risk factors for mortality in this ethnic group.