Deaths and Diabetes

Deaths: Diabetes

About two-thirds of people with diabetes die of heart or blood vessel disease.

Source: NIH News in Health (NIH)1

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Back to: « Diabetes

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Diabetes is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Statistics just released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that 20.8 million people—7% of the population—have diabetes, and over 6 million of them don’t even know they have it. Another 41 million people have prediabetes.

Source: NIH News in Health (NIH)2

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According to the Eurostat data on causes of death based on death certificates, 106,757 persons (46,141 men and 60,616 women) died from diabetes mellitus in the EU27 in 2009. Diabetes was recorded as the underlying cause of death in 2.2% of all deaths registered in 2009 in the EU27. There were more female than male deaths. However, the standard death rate in 2009 was 14.1 per 100,000 in males and 10.8 per 100,000 in females.

Source: EC (EU)3

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Diabetes contributed to 10% of all deaths in 2014, that is over 15,700 deaths, according to the AIHW National Mortality Database. Diabetes was the underlying cause of death in around 4,300 deaths (28% of diabetes deaths). It was an associated cause of death in a further 11,400 deaths (72% of diabetes deaths).

Diabetes is far more likely to be listed as an associated cause of death. This is because it is often not diabetes itself that leads directly to death but one of its complications that will be listed as the underlying cause of death on the death certificate. When diabetes is an associated cause of death, the conditions most commonly listed as the underlying cause of death were cancer, coronary heart disease and stroke.

Where diabetes was listed as the underlying and/or associated cause of death:

  • 5% were due to type 1 diabetes (829 deaths)
  • 54% were due to type 2 diabetes (8,400 deaths)
  • 41% were due to other diabetes (6,500 deaths).

Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare4

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Trends

Diabetes death rates have remained relatively stable over the last two to three decades, both where diabetes is the underlying cause of death and where it is the underlying and/or associated cause of death:

  • On average, diabetes was the underlying cause of death in around 3,100 deaths per year between 1985 and 2014, equating to death rates of 17-22 deaths per 100,000 population for males and 13-15 per 100,000 for females (see data).
  • On average, diabetes was the underlying and/or associated cause of death in around 12,500 deaths per year between 1997 and 2014, equating to death rates of 67-78 per 100,000 for males and 41-49 per 100,000 for females (Figure 1).

Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare5

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Age and sex

In 2014, diabetes death rates (as the underlying and/or associated cause):

  • Were overall 1.6 times as high for males than females (69 and 45 per 100,000 population). Age-specific rates for males were higher than females across all age groups (Figure 2).
  • Increased with age, with rates around 3 times as high in those aged 85 and over (1,503 and 1,165 per 100,000 for males and females) compared with those 75-84 years (608 and 394 per 100,000 for males and females) (Figure 2).

Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare6

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Inequalities

Diabetes death rates (as the underlying and/or associated cause) increased with remoteness and socioeconomic disadvantage, and were higher among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people:

  • Twice as high in Remote and very remote areas compared with Major cities (101 compared with 52 per 100,000 population in 2012-14).  The gap in these death rates was higher for females than males?2.3 times as high in Remote and very remote areas than in Major cities for females (97 compared with 41 per 100,000) and 1.6 times as high for males (107 compared with 66 per 100,000) (Figure 3).
  • Twice as high in the lowest socioeconomic group compared with the highest socioeconomic group (75 compared with 37 per 100,000 in 2014). This gap was similar for males and females (Figure 3).
  • 4 times as high among Indigenous Australians compared with non-Indigenous Australians (234 compared with 55 deaths per 100,000, in 2012-14). This gap in death rates was higher for females than males?6 times as high for Indigenous females (236 compared with 43 per 100,000) and 3 times as high for Indigenous males (233 compared with 70 per 100,000) (Figure 3).

Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare7

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References

  1. Source: NIH News in Health (NIH): newsinhealth.nih.gov/ issue/ feb2012/ feature1
  2. Source: NIH News in Health (NIH): newsinhealth.nih.gov/ 2005/ November2005/ docs/ 01features_01.htm
  3. Source: EC (EU): ec.europa.eu/ health/ major_chronic_diseases/ diseases/ diabetes_en
  4. Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare: aihw.gov.au/ reports/ diabetes/ diabetes-compendium/ contents/ deaths-from-diabetes
  5. ibid.
  6. ibid.
  7. ibid.

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