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Mortality in young people admitted to hospital for diabetes: database study

BMJ 2004; 328 doi: (Published 25 March 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:741
  1. Stephen E Roberts (, epidemiologist1,
  2. Michael J Goldacre, professor of public health1,
  3. H Andrew W Neil, reader in clinical epidemiology2
  1. 1Unit of Health-Care Epidemiology, Department of Public Health, University of Oxford, Oxford OX3 7LF
  2. 2Department of Public Health, University of Oxford
  1. Correspondence to: S E Roberts
  • Accepted 27 November 2003


People with type 1 diabetes mellitus have an increased risk of death at a young age. We aimed to quantify this risk in a population of people admitted to hospital for type 1 diabetes and to determine whether mortality in the three year period after admission has fallen in recent years.

Methods and results

From 1968 to 1996, for people aged under 30 years in the area covered by the Oxford record linkage study (population of 0.9 million in 1968, 1.9 million in 1974, and 2.5 million in 1987) we analysed all NHS hospital admissions for diabetes mellitus (ICD-9, code 250) in which that condition was coded as the principal diagnosis. The database included linkage to death certificate data to 1999.

The coding of type 1 diabetes is uncommon on hospital records. We chose age 29 as our upper age limit because almost all people under 30 admitted with diabetes mellitus would have had type 1 diabetes. We analysed multiple admissions for the same person as follows. …

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