Importance: Type 1 diabetes has historically been associated with a significant reduction in life expectancy. Major advances in treatment of type 1 diabetes have occurred in the past 3 decades. Contemporary estimates of the effect of type 1 diabetes on life expectancy are needed.
Objective: To examine current life expectancy in people with and without type 1 diabetes in Scotland. We also examined whether any loss of life expectancy in patients with type 1 diabetes is confined to those who develop kidney disease.
Design, setting, and participants: Prospective cohort of all individuals alive in Scotland with type 1 diabetes who were aged 20 years or older from 2008 through 2010 and were in a nationwide register (n=24,691 contributing 67,712 person-years and 1043 deaths).
Main outcomes and measures: Differences in life expectancy between those with and those without type 1 diabetes and the percentage of the difference due to various causes.
Results: Life expectancy at an attained age of 20 years was an additional 46.2 years among men with type 1 diabetes and 57.3 years among men without it, an estimated loss in life expectancy with diabetes of 11.1 years (95% CI, 10.1-12.1). Life expectancy from age 20 years was an additional 48.1 years among women with type 1 diabetes and 61.0 years among women without it, an estimated loss with diabetes of 12.9 years (95% CI, 11.7-14.1). Even among those with type 1 diabetes with an estimated glomerular filtration rate of 90 mL/min/1.73 m2 or higher, life expectancy was reduced (49.0 years in men, 53.1 years in women) giving an estimated loss from age 20 years of 8.3 years (95% CI, 6.5-10.1) for men and 7.9 years (95% CI, 5.5-10.3) for women. Overall, the largest percentage of the estimated loss in life expectancy was related to ischemic heart disease (36% in men, 31% in women) but death from diabetic coma or ketoacidosis was associated with the largest percentage of the estimated loss occurring before age 50 years (29.4% in men, 21.7% in women).
Conclusions and relevance: Estimated life expectancy for patients with type 1 diabetes in Scotland based on data from 2008 through 2010 indicated an estimated loss of life expectancy at age 20 years of approximately 11 years for men and 13 years for women compared with the general population without type 1 diabetes.