Mortality in type 1 diabetes diagnosed in childhood in Northern Ireland during 1989-2012: A population-based cohort study

Pediatr Diabetes. 2018 Feb;19(1):166-170. doi: 10.1111/pedi.12539. Epub 2017 May 26.


Objective: To investigate long-term mortality rates and causes of death in individuals diagnosed with type 1 diabetes before the age of 15 years during the period 1989-2012 or known to paediatric diabetes teams in 1989, in Northern Ireland.

Methods: A cohort of 3129 patients from the Northern Ireland Childhood Diabetes Register was linked to death registrations and underlying causes, coded according to ICD-9 or ICD-10. Standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) were calculated as the ratio of observed to expected deaths by sex, attained age, time since diagnosis, calendar period, and cause of death.

Results: Subjects were followed to December 31, 2012 giving 39 764 person-years of follow-up (median 12.1 years). In total, 59 subjects had died (1.5 per 1000 person-years) compared with 19.9 deaths expected, an SMR of 296 (95% confidence interval (CI) 229-382). Women had a significantly higher excess risk of mortality than men with SMRs of 535 (95% CI 361-764) and 203 (95% CI 136-291), respectively. Over half of the deaths (56%) were judged to be related or possibly related to diabetes with most of these due to acute (n = 24) or late (n = 6) complications.

Conclusions: Subjects with type 1 diabetes diagnosed less than 15 years of age had 3 times the mortality risk of the general population. Over half of the deaths were related to acute or chronic complications of diabetes.

Keywords: mortality; standardized mortality ratio; type 1 diabetes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cause of Death
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / mortality*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Northern Ireland / epidemiology
  • Young Adult