Background: Diabetes reduces life expectancy by 10 to 12 years, but whether death can be predicted in type 2 diabetes mellitus remains uncertain.
Methods: A prospective cohort of 7583 type 2 diabetic patients enrolled since 1995 were censored on July 30, 2005, or after 6 years of follow-up, whichever came first. A restricted cubic spline model was used to check data linearity and to develop linear-transforming formulas. Data were randomly assigned to a training data set and to a test data set. A Cox model was used to develop risk scores in the test data set. Calibration and discrimination were assessed in the test data set.
Results: A total of 619 patients died during a median follow-up period of 5.51 years, resulting in a mortality rate of 18.69 per 1000 person-years. Age, sex, peripheral arterial disease, cancer history, insulin use, blood hemoglobin levels, linear-transformed body mass index, random spot urinary albumin-creatinine ratio, and estimated glomerular filtration rate at enrollment were predictors of all-cause death. A risk score for all-cause mortality was developed using these predictors. The predicted and observed death rates in the test data set were similar (P > .70). The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve was 0.85 for 5 years of follow-up. Using the risk score in ranking cause-specific deaths, the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve was 0.95 for genitourinary death, 0.85 for circulatory death, 0.85 for respiratory death, and 0.71 for neoplasm death.
Conclusions: Death in type 2 diabetes mellitus can be predicted using a risk score consisting of commonly measured clinical and biochemical variables. Further validation is needed before clinical use.