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N Engl J Med. 2014 Nov 20;371(21):1972-82. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1408214.

Glycemic control and excess mortality in type 1 diabetes.

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From the Department of Medicine, NU-Hospital Organization, Uddevalla (M.L., S.D.), Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, Institute of Medicine, University of Gothenburg (M.L., S.G., A.R.), Center of Registers in Region Västra Götaland (A.-M.S.), Statistiska Konsultgruppen (A.P.), Nordic School of Public Health (H.W.), and Sahlgrenska University Hospital (A.R.), Gothenburg - all in Sweden; Saint Luke's Mid America Heart Institute (M.K.), University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine (M.K., M.C.), and Children's Mercy Hospital (M.C.), Kansas City, MO; and the University of Kansas School of Medicine, Kansas City, KS (M.C.).



The excess risk of death from any cause and of death from cardiovascular causes is unknown among patients with type 1 diabetes and various levels of glycemic control. We conducted a registry-based observational study to determine the excess risk of death according to the level of glycemic control in a Swedish population of patients with diabetes.


We included in our study patients with type 1 diabetes registered in the Swedish National Diabetes Register after January 1, 1998. For each patient, five controls were randomly selected from the general population and matched according to age, sex, and county. Patients and controls were followed until December 31, 2011, through the Swedish Register for Cause-Specific Mortality.


The mean age of the patients with diabetes and the controls at baseline was 35.8 and 35.7 years, respectively, and 45.1% of the participants in each group were women. The mean follow-up in the diabetes and control groups was 8.0 and 8.3 years, respectively. Overall, 2701 of 33,915 patients with diabetes (8.0%) died, as compared with 4835 of 169,249 controls (2.9%) (adjusted hazard ratio, 3.52; 95% confidence interval [CI], 3.06 to 4.04); the corresponding rates of death from cardiovascular causes were 2.7% and 0.9% (adjusted hazard ratio, 4.60; 95% CI, 3.47 to 6.10). The multivariable-adjusted hazard ratios for death from any cause according to the glycated hemoglobin level for patients with diabetes as compared with controls were 2.36 (95% CI, 1.97 to 2.83) for a glycated hemoglobin level of 6.9% or lower (≤52 mmol per mole), 2.38 (95% CI, 2.02 to 2.80) for a level of 7.0 to 7.8% (53 to 62 mmol per mole), 3.11 (95% CI, 2.66 to 3.62) for a level of 7.9 to 8.7% (63 to 72 mmol per mole), 3.65 (95% CI, 3.11 to 4.30) for a level of 8.8 to 9.6% (73 to 82 mmol per mole), and 8.51 (95% CI, 7.24 to 10.01) for a level of 9.7% or higher (≥83 mmol per mole). Corresponding hazard ratios for death from cardiovascular causes were 2.92 (95% CI, 2.07 to 4.13), 3.39 (95% CI, 2.49 to 4.61), 4.44 (95% CI, 3.32 to 5.96), 5.35 (95% CI, 3.94 to 7.26), and 10.46 (95% CI, 7.62 to 14.37).


In our registry-based observational study, patients with type 1 diabetes and a glycated hemoglobin level of 6.9% or lower had a risk of death from any cause or from cardiovascular causes that was twice as high as the risk for matched controls. (Funded by the Swedish Society of Medicine and others.).

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