Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

In Mexico, diabetes causes half of all deaths at ages 35-74 years from cardiovascular disease, kidney disease or infections, according to new research published on Monday March 19 in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.

Researchers from the University of Oxford (UK) and the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) interviewed and collected blood from 150,000 men and women in Mexico City and tracked them for mortality for 14 years. In the study, diabetes was common – affecting more than 20% by age 60 years – poorly managed, and greatly increased the risk of premature death from many other diseases, but particularly from cardiovascular disease, kidney disease and infections. Those with diabetes had about seven times the death rate from these causes compared to others, a risk difference which is about twice as big as that normally seen in high-income countries.

Among people with diabetes, death rates were very much higher among those who had been living with diabetes the longest and those with the worst blood sugar control. Those with diabetes for more than 10 years when surveyed had 12 times the death rate from vascular disease, kidney disease or infection compared to people without diabetes.

Co-author Professor Pablo Kuri, Undersecretary for Prevention at the Mexican Health Ministry and Professor at the School of Medicine at UNAM, said “Diabetes is a public health emergency in Mexico. This study shows the impact it has on shortening Mexican lifespan and reinforces the need for co-ordinated national strategies aimed at both preventing diabetes as well as improving its treatment.”

Co-author Dr William Herrington explained “More than 400 million people worldwide have diabetes and most are from low- and middle-income countries where resources to treat diabetes and its complications might be less available than in high-income countries.”  He added that “The results from this study act as a warning about the potential effect diabetes can have on shortening lifespan.”

Co-author Dr Jonathan Emberson said “While prevention is better than cure, the risks for people with diabetes can be greatly reduced by inexpensive drugs that control blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol.”

Similar stories

New target identified to develop treatment for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

CRM Publication

A new study from the Smart group has shed light on a key regulatory step in the initiation and progression of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm by revealing the protective role of a previously little known small protein.

Travels with Vignesh

CRM General

Vignesh Murugesan, a Postdoctoral Researcher in Department of Physiology, Anatomy & Genetics (DPAG), describes how he found his way from the large metropolitan town of Chennai in India to studying regenerative medicine here in Oxford, via an 8 year stint in Sweden.

Genetic breakthrough to target care for deadly heart condition

CRE Research

Professor Watkins and his team have found a new type of genetic change in the DNA of people with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) - a silent killer amongst families that can cause sudden death in young people due to the thickening of the heart muscle.

Earliest origins of the forming heart identified

CRE Research

The earliest known progenitor of the outermost layer of the heart has been characterised for the first time and linked to the development of other critical cell types in the developing heart in a new paper from the Srinivas group led by BHF Immediate Fellow Dr Richard Tyser.

Professor Sir Rory Collins awarded the MRC Millennium Medal 2020

CRE Research

Professor Sir Rory Collins, Head of the Nuffield Department of Population Health, and Principal Investigator and Chief Executive of UK Biobank, has been awarded the Medical Research Council (MRC) Millennium Medal 2020, the MRC’s most prestigious personal award.