Background: There is strong evidence on the efficacy of behavioral modification and treatment for reducing diabetes incidence and diabetes-related morbidity and mortality in persons with pre-diabetes and diabetes. But the extent to which the evidence has translated into gains in health in these population sub-groups in the US is unclear. Monitoring national diabetes-related mortality levels over time is important for evaluating the effectiveness of the US health system response to diabetes.Methods: We identified individuals with pre-diabetes and diabetes using Hemoglobin A1c. Two consecutive periods for investigating differences in mortality according to categories of glycemia were derived using nationally representative survey data on US adults ages 35-74 from subsequent rounds of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (1988-1994 and 1999-2002). Age-standardized mortality rates were calculated for individuals with pre-diabetes and diabetes and proportional hazards models were used to assess change in the relative risks of dysglycemia (pre-diabetes and diabetes) adjusting for multiple confounding factors.Results: Age-standardized mortality rates in individuals with pre-diabetes and diabetes showed no statistically significant change between 1988-2001 and 1999-2006. In individuals with pre-diabetes, mortality rates were 11.19 and 14.02 deaths per 1,000 person-years in the early and later period, respectively. The corresponding values for individuals with diabetes were 20.34 and 20.82 deaths per 1,000 person-years. In contrast, the absolute level of mortality in the normo-glycemic population declined significantly between 1988-2001 and 1999-2006 (7.81 to 6.04; p for difference < 0.05). Adjusting for social and demographic variables, smoking and body mass index in a multivariate analysis, the hazard ratio of dysglycemia increased from 1.62 (95% CI: 1.36-1.93) in 1988-2001 to 2.36 (95% CI: 1.70-3.27) in 1999-2006 (p for difference < 0.05).Conclusions: We find no evidence of declines in excess mortality in persons with dysglycemia between 1988-2001 and 1999-2006, a result that was robust to adjustment for social and demographic variables, smoking and body mass index. In the context of long-term secular declines in mortality in the US population, our findings suggest that individuals with pre-diabetes and diabetes should be an important focus of future interventions aimed at improving population health in the US.
- Diabetes management
- Mortality change
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health