A risk factor-based life expectancy for patients with type 1 diabetes

A recent study by Dr An Duy Tran, Dr Josh Knight and Professor Philip Clarke from the Health Economics Unit has been published in Diabetologia. This study was featured in the Editor’s Choice as one of outstanding and very interesting articles in diabetes.

In this study, a world’s first risk factor-based life expectancy table for patients with type 1 diabetes was developed based on a previously published simulation model. The table contains 1,204 cells representing combined levels of six risk factors (sex, age, current smoking status, BMI, eGFR, and HbA1c). The study shows a substantial variation in life expectancy across patients with different risk factor levels. For example, the life expectancy of 20-year-old men varied from 29.3 years to 50.6 years, constituting a gap of 21.3 years between those with worst and best risk factor levels.

The findings from this study indicate a strong incentive to increase life expectancy via optimisation of risk factors. The life expectancy table may support clinicians in their discussions with patients with type 1 diabetes about the benefits of improving risk factors in terms of life-years gained, an important and easily understood outcome measure.

A web-based interactive version of this life expectancy table, developed by Dr An Duy Tran, is available at https://antranduy.shinyapps.io/le-t1d/.