People with diabetes – both Type I and Type II – are at risk for numerous complications that can lead to a shorter and lower quality of life. Because of these risks, it’s critically important for diabetes patients to pay close attention to their health. This means monitoring blood sugar levels, keeping weight down, exercising frequently and scheduling regular visits with an endocrinologist.
On average, people with Type II Diabetes will live three years less than people without the disease. Furthermore, on average, people with diabetes spend eight more years with some form of disability.
As an example, a 50 year old man with diabetes can be expected to live another 30 years (vs. 33 years for non-diabetics). Of those remaining 30 years, 17 will be with some type of diabetes-related disability.
A worrying statistic that came out of a recent study in the United States showed that nearly one third of people with diabetes don’t even know they have the disease. This means that they’re not getting the care they need to manage their blood sugar levels and are at even greater risk for early death and disability.