From New Orleans, Louisiana, USA:
I have had type 1 diabetes for 14 years. I recently read a book that said one lives, on average, 50 years with the disease. Is this true?
I know you should not believe every thing you read, but if this is true, there is a possibility that I will only live until my mid 40s. Please tell me this is not so.
One of the issues related to diabetes care and outcome is the level of care received by individuals during their lifetime. As a diabetes care provider, I advocate near-normal glucose control as the best means of avoiding long-term complications from diabetes. Most of the cardiovascular problems result from the development of kidney failure from diabetes. Statistics like the ones you quoted are not necessarily accurate in a population of patients benefiting from improved control, better blood pressure control, and healthier lifestyles. I would like to think all of our patients with diabetes will be able to live healthy lives. I wish that for you too.
Please do not be concerned with those statistics. Rather, turn your energies into a positive direction toward better control. What was once true yesterday may not be true today. No one can really predict the future.
Original posting 15 Feb 2001
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