Aims: To compare diabetes-related mortality rates and factors associated with this disease in the Canary Islands compared with other 10 Spanish regions.
Methods: In a cross-sectional study of 28,887 participants aged 35-74 years in Spain, data were obtained for diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia, obesity, insulin resistance (IR), and metabolic syndrome. Healthcare was measured as awareness, treatment and control of diabetes, dyslipidemia, and hypertension. Standardized mortality rate ratios (SRR) were calculated for the years 1981 to 2011 in the same regions.
Results: Diabetes, obesity, and hypertension were more prevalent in people under the age of 64 in the Canary Islands than in Spain. For all ages, metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance (IR) were also more prevalent in those from the Canary Islands. Healthcare parameters were similar in those from the Canary Islands and the rest of Spain. Diabetes-related mortality in the Canary Islands was the highest in Spain since 1981; the maximum SRR was reached in 2011 in men (6.3 versus the region of Madrid; p<0.001) and women (9.5 versus Madrid; p<0.001). Excess mortality was prevalent from the age of 45 years and above.
Conclusions: Diabetes-related mortality is higher in the Canary Islands population than in any other Spanish region. The high mortality and prevalence of IR warrants investigation of the genetic background associated with a higher incidence and poor prognosis for diabetes in this population. The rise in SRR calls for a rapid public health policy response.
Keywords: Canary Islands; Diabetes; Insulin resistance; Mortality; Spain.
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