Take Care of Yourself – Eat Right and Quit Smoking



People with type 2 diabetes carry a 15 percent increased risk of premature death compared to healthy people, Swedish researchers reported in the NEW ENGLAND Journal of Medicine. But they’re much better than they were 15 years ago. Up to the year 2000, the excess risk of mortality in individuals with type 2 diabetes was generally considered to be doubled compared to the general population. Now the risk has dropped to historic low levels. However, the risk of death is much higher in people younger than 65, those who poorly control their blood sugar levels, and those who’ve suffered kidney damage from type 2 diabetes.

The bottom line is that type 2 diabetics must do their part in managing their condition if they want the benefits that medical advances have wrought. If you develop diabetes, there is good evidence that attention to glucose (blood sugar) control and other cardiovascular risk factors from the onset can reduce any individual’s risk of death. Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body loses its ability to effectively use insulin, a hormone that helps process blood sugar into fuel for cells. Patients can wind up with high levels of glucose in their blood. which is damaging to many systems throughout the body.

Type 2 diabetics younger than 65 have a death risk greater than that of older diabetics. Excess risk of death was two to three times higher than those younger than 55, compared to between 30 percent and 40 percent higher for diabetics aged 65 to 75. Poor control of blood sugar levels can make a bad situation even worse for younger diabetics. Diabetics under 55 with poorly controlled blood sugar have a more than 4 fold increased risk of early death, compared to healthy people. That risk was 55 percent for diabetics 75 and older who don’t manage their diabetes. If you are a young patient, there is a lot you can do to protect your health. These steps include eating right, quitting smoking, and controlling blood pressure and cholesterol levels. But the best thing a person can do, is try to avoid getting type 2 diabetes in the first place!


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