Younger people with Type 2 diabetes are three times more likely to die early than those of the same age without the disease, a study suggests.
Patients with Type 2 diabetes aged 35 to 54 were three times as likely to die early as non-sufferers of the same age. Type 2 Diabetes tends develop in later life and is linked to obesity and diet. It develops when the body can still make some insulin, but not enough, or when the insulin that is produced does not work properly.
Type 2 diabetes is treated with lifestyle changes such as a healthier diet, weight loss and increased physical activity. But the condition is progressive and tablets and/or insulin may also be required to achieve normal blood glucose levels.
But research author Henrietta Mulnier of Surrey University said data like this showed it was just as dangerous.
Her team compared information from GPs' records in the UK on deaths from all causes between January 1992 and October 1999.
"We did expect that people with Type 2 diabetes would have a higher risk of dying earlier rather than later," she said.
She added that the findings would have an impact on how decisions on how to deal with the disease and provide health care are made.
"With people being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes younger and younger, the figures are going to get worse.
"We really do need to focus on early detection and treatment."
It is thought that there up to three quarters of a million people with Type 2 diabetes in the UK who have not been diagnosed. The longer patients have the condition, the more likely they are to develop complications which can be deadly.