, Volume 55, Issue 2, pp 294-302
Date: 30 Nov 2011

Causes of death among diabetic patients in Denmark



To study the distribution of causes of death in the Danish population, and its variation by diabetes status, sex, age and calendar year as well as the years of life lost from the specific causes of death.


Persons aged 30–98 years were followed from 1995 to 2008 by linkage of Danish registers. Poisson regression was used to model cause-specific mortality rates by age and calendar time for each specific cause of death, according to sex and diabetes status. The mortality rates were also modelled as a function of age and birth cohort. We computed the distribution of causes of death and years of life lost from specific causes of death due to diabetes.


During the 14-year study period, patients with diabetes contributed 2.3 million person-years of follow-up and 124,210 deaths, whereas persons without diabetes contributed 45.1 million person-years and 648,020 deaths. The mortality was higher among individuals with diabetes, and the mortality ratio (diabetes vs no diabetes) decreased with age and for all causes and cardiovascular diseases also by calendar time. The effect of sex on the association between diabetes and mortality varied with age and cause of death. About 9 years of life were lost to diabetes at age 30 years, and 3 years at age 70 years.


Age-specific mortality is higher among people with diabetes, and rate ratios vary with age, sex, calendar period and cause of death. The distribution of causes of death was similar for persons with and without diabetes.