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Fewer Dying From Type 1 Diabetes

But racial disparities exist, despite overall decrease, U.S. study finds

TUESDAY, June 29, 2010 (HealthDay News) -- The overall death rate from type 1 diabetes is decreasing in the United States, but blacks are more likely to die from the condition than whites, a new study shows.

The finding came from an analysis of data from the Allegheny County Type 1 Diabetes Registry, which includes nearly 1,100 people diagnosed between 1965 and 1979 in Allegheny County, Pa.

As of January 2008, 26 percent of all the registry participants had died, a rate seven times higher than age- and sex-matched people in the general population. However, the death rate among those diagnosed between 1975 and 1979 was a bit lower -- 5.5 times greater than the general population.

Women with type 1 diabetes were 13 times more likely to die than women without the condition, whereas men with the disease were five times more likely to die than men in the general population.

When the researchers focused on race, they found that just 52 percent of black registry participants were alive, compared with 82 percent of whites.

The findings were presented Monday at the American Diabetes Association's annual meeting in Orlando, Fla.

"The more recently a person was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, the less likely they were to die, suggesting the positive impact of advances made during the last few decades," study author Aaron M. Secrest, a doctoral student at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, said in news release from the school. "Even so, significant disparities in mortality remain and reveal a need for continuing improvements in diabetes treatment and care."

More information

The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International has more about type 1 diabetes.

SOURCE: University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, news release, June 28, 2010
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