Avoid this deadly double (or triple) health threat

HeartacheI’ve long talked about the negative momentum effect that diabetes sets off. Namely: diabetes sets the stage for other health problems and emergencies, which result in a negative health spiral that can ultimately be fatal.

A new analysis bears this out, by the numbers.

And it’s an ENORMOUS analysis, at that.

It included nearly 1.2 million participants. In that group, 135,000 deaths occurred. The mortality rate associated with diabetes, stroke, and heart attack was similar for each of those conditions.

But the risk of death increased substantially with each additional condition a patient had: Compared to people with no history of these three conditions (diabetes, stroke, and heart attack), study participants who had one of those conditions had twice the rate of death; 2 of those conditions, about 4 times the rate of death; and all 3 conditions, about 8 times the rate of death.

Those numbers are powerful on their own, in showing this dangerously exponential risk. But the researchers stated it yet another powerful way: for a 60-year-old, a history of any 2 of these conditions was associated with 12 years of reduced life expectancy; a history of 3 of these conditions was associated with 15 years of reduced life expectancy. And the younger the patient is, the more serious: i.e., a 23 years of reduced life expectancy in patients with all 3 of these conditions at the age of 40.

That makes having more than one of these conditions more serious than lifelong smoking (which has been associated with 10 years of reduced life expectancy) and HIV infection (11 years less life expectancy).

And if you’re crazy enough to think, “Well, I just have one of these conditions” – the others aren’t far behind. All you need to do in order to refresh your memory of this, is to type “diabetes,” “stroke,” or “heart disease” into the search bar in the upper-right corner of drpescatore.com. And you’ll find plenty of info on how insidious these diseases are – separately and together. (As well as plenty of tips for beating them. Hint: drop the soda can and bid adieu to that croissant.)


The JAMA Network Journals. “Life expectancy substantially lower with combination of diabetes, stroke or heart attack.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 July 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/07/150707115835.htm>.