NEWS AND PRESS RELEASES

Diabetic patients are more at risk of death from alcohol, accidents and suicide

Oct 2018

Diabetic patients are more likely to die from alcohol-related factors, accidents or suicide, according to a study published in the European Journal of Endocrinology. The study findings suggest that the increased risk of death from these causes may be related to the mental health of patients, which may be adversely affected by the psychological burden of living with and self-treating this debilitating disease, with potentially serious complications.

Type-1 and type-2 diabetes are highly prevalent global diseases, causing millions of deaths every year. It is well known that diabetic patients have a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease, cancer and kidney disorders, which can lead to earlier death. However, more recently diabetes has been linked to an increased risk of depression but how poor mental health may affect patients with diabetes has not been fully investigated.

In this nationwide Finnish study, Professor Leo Niskanen and colleagues, from the University of Helsinki and Tampere and Helsinki University Hospital, assessed the alcohol-related, suicides or accidental causes of death of over 400,000 people with or without diabetes. The study reported that people with diabetes were much more likely to die from alcohol-related factors, accidents or suicide, especially patients that required regular, self-injections of insulin.

Prof Leo Niskanen comments, “We know that living with diabetes can lead to a mental-health strain. Having to monitor their glucose levels and inject themselves daily with insulin has a huge impact on daily life; simply eating, moving and sleeping all affect blood glucose levels. This strain combined with the anxiety of developing serious complications like heart or kidney disease may also take their toll on psychological well-being.”

Prof Leo Niskanen states, “This study has highlighted that there is a need for effective psychological support for people with diabetes. If they feel like they are under a heavy mental burden or consider that their use of alcohol is excessive, they should not hesitate to discuss these issues with their primary care physician. There are many ways that these problems can be managed, provided they are communicated.”

The team now plans to carry out a more in depth investigation of the risk factors and mechanisms underpinning these findings to help identify strategies to avoid future deaths. In addition, the influence of drugs such as antidepressants, the occurrence of diabetic complications such as low blood glucose, or the socioeconomic status of patients will also be considered.

----ENDS----


Notes for Editors

The study, “Excess mortality in Finnish diabetic subjects due to alcohol, accidents and suicide: a nationwide study (DOI: 10.1530/EJE-18-0351), was published in the European Journal of Endocrinology on 13 October 2018.

European Journal of Endocrinology (EJE) is the official clinical journal of the European Society of Endocrinology, publishing high-quality original research and review articles on all aspects of clinical and translational endocrinology from around the globe. European Journal of Endocrinology is published by Bioscientifica.

At the European Society of Endocrinology (ESE), we are working together to develop and share the best knowledge in endocrine science and medicine. ESE represents a community of over 20,000 European endocrinologists, enabling us to inform policy makers on health decisions at the highest level through engagement in advocacy efforts across Europe. It is by uniting and representing every part of the endocrine community that we are placed in the best possible position to improve life for the patient.

 

Press

Obesity risk may be increased by exposure to common environmental chemicals
Setting fair regulations for top female athletes that have naturally higher testosterone levels
Environmental toxins can impair sexual development and fertility of future generations
Sleep problems in teenagers reversed in just one week by limiting screen use
Men ignore serious health risks of steroid abuse in pursuit of the body beautiful
Breastfeeding reduces long-term risk of heart disease in mothers
Mentally tiring work may increase diabetes risk in women
Antioxidants may prevent cognitive impairment in diabetes
Skin inflammation may increase your risk of type-2 diabetes
Debate - Is the gut or the brain more important in regulating appetite and metabolism?
Routine vitamin B12 screening may prevent irreversible nerve damage in type-2 diabetes
Good nutrition could protect children from cognitive difficulties caused by early-life stress
Women more resilient to extreme physical activity than previously reported
Oestrogens in cows’ milk are unlikely to pose a threat to adult health
Diabetic patients are more at risk of death from alcohol, accidents and suicide
Too much vitamin A may increase risk of bone fractures
Vitamin D supplements may promote weight loss in obese children
Vitamin B supplements may protect kidney function in children with diabetes
Bad habits in childhood may lead to an ‘unhealthy’ balance of gut bacteria and increase health risks in later life
Lord Robert Winston cautions that advances in infertility therapies may be hindered by over-regulation
New link identified between inflammation and depression in type-1 diabetes
Walking a tightrope: universal thyroid testing could reduce pregnancy problems in some cases, but interfere with healthy pregnancies in others
Brain stimulation may reduce food cravings as obesity treatment
Larger waistlines are linked to higher risk of vitamin D deficiency
Transgender brains are more like their desired gender from an early age
Could intermittent fasting diets increase diabetes risk?
Minimising exposure to common hormone-disrupting chemicals may reduce obesity rates
Brain development disorders in children linked to common environmental toxin exposures
Children born to mothers with low vitamin D levels may develop autism-like behaviours
Over-the-counter antihistamines linked to impaired fertility in men
Arthritis drug can lower sugar levels in diabetes
Potential new target for reducing osteoporosis risk in men
Successful male infertility treatment does not lower fertility of sons
Warm temperatures can lead to misdiagnosis of diabetes in pregnancy
Guidelines for management of recurrent pituitary tumours recommend new drug as first line treatment
Taking paracetamol during pregnancy may reduce fertility of daughters
Link found between morning sickness, smoking and healthy pregnancies
High fat diet during childhood may increase PCOS risk later in life
Early pregnancy test for cows improves welfare and food production
International collaboration release revised guideline for improved management of Turner syndrome
Treating PCOS with a combination of oral contraceptives and spironolactone does not increase the risk of diabetes or heart disease
Vitamin D supplements could help pain management
Breast cancer risk is more affected by total body fat than abdominal fat
New nanotechnology application for difficult-to-treat cancers
Just six months of frequent exercise improves men’s sperm quality
Consuming more than two soft drinks a day can double risk of diabetes
Age-related scarring in ovaries may explain reproductive decline
Happy cows make more nutritious milk
Third of pregnant women iron deficient; risk thyroid-related pregnancy complications
New recommendations for the diagnosis and treatment of Adrenal Incidentalomas published in the European Journal of Endocrinology
Sitting down for long periods when pregnant linked to weight gain and depression
New drug provides safer alternative to conventional IVF treatment
Enzyme potential target for fight against obesity and diabetes
Bursts of high-intensity exercise could help diabetes patients manage low blood sugar levels
Soybean foods may protect menopausal women against osteoporosis
Vitamin D pill a day may improve exercise performance and lower risk of heart disease
Diabetes associated with increased risk of serious bacterial blood infection
Breast cancer risk higher in women with overactive thyroid
Injection of appetite gene may offer a more effective alternative to dieting
Hyperthyroidism could be great cost to countries in disability benefits
Mother’s hormone levels predict child’s ability to do maths