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Development of a life expectancy table for individuals with type 1 diabetes – published online 26/07/2021

Tran Duy graphical abstract

An Tran-Duy, Josh Knight, Philip M. Clarke, Ann-Marie Svensson, Björn Eliasson, Andrew J. Palmer

Currently, communication between physicians and patients with diabetes about the health benefits of therapeutic strategies are predominantly based on reduced risks of complications and mortality. While the information obtained from a risk chart is useful for prescribing medications, the benefits of risk reduction (e.g. a 2% reduction in 10 year cardiovascular risk) may not be well perceived by the patients. In this issue, Tran-Duy, Knight et al ( developed a life expectancy table to show how changes in combined levels of age, sex, smoking status, BMI, eGFR and HbA1c affect the average remaining lifetime of an individual with type 1 diabetes. This table showed a substantial variation in life expectancy across patients with different risk factor levels (see the interactive version of the table at For example, the life expectancy of 20-year-old men varied from 29.3 years to 50.6 years, constituting a gap of 21.3 years between those with worst and best risk factor levels. The authors conclude that these findings indicate a strong incentive to increase life expectancy via optimisation of risk factors. They suggest that this table may support clinicians in their discussions with patients with type 1 diabetes about the benefits of improving risk factors in terms of life-years gained, an important and easily understood outcome measure

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