Editorials

Diabetes black spots and death by postcode

BMJ 2001; 322 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.322.7299.1375 (Published 09 June 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;322:1375

The incidence, and inequity, of diabetes are likely to be worsened by obesity

  1. Gareth Williams (garethw@liv.ac.uk), professor of medicine
  1. Department of Medicine, University Hospital Aintree, Liverpool L9 7AL

    Papers p 1389

    Like the villain in Treasure Island, diabetes is well known for handing the “black spot” of early demise to its victims. This reputation will be enhanced by a study in this week's BMJ from South Tees, one of the United Kingdom's black spots for both poverty and premature death, mainly from cardiovascular disease. Roper et al present a depressing snapshot of the prospects for diabetic people in the UK today, which shows diabetes to be particularly mean: sexist, ageist, and with a clear tendency to kick the underdog (p 1389).1

    Of their 4800 diabetic subjects, a quarter died during the study's six year span—an overall mortality about 2.2 times the national average. Those who developed diabetes youngest had their lives shortened the most: life expectancy was reduced by nine years for those diagnosed by the age of 40 but by only one year for those diagnosed at 80. Women diagnosed between 55 and 65 years of age lost two more years of life than did men. Finally, mortality tracked closely with socioeconomic deprivation, rising steadily from 1.3 times the national average in …

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