From London, England, UK:
A boy, age 4 years with Type 1, wants to know his life expectancy.
I have never met a four year old who knows what life expectancy is let alone has concerns that it may be shortened! I assume therefore, that it is the child's relatives who want to know.
The question is an unfair one because it depends so much upon the blood sugar control that he can maintain from now and throughout his life. There is now no doubt that good control of blood sugars dramatically reduces risk of microvascular complications but the contribution of childhood glycaemic control has yet to be quantified. Patients with diabetes are also at risk of coronary heart disease and stroke and much work is now looking at ways to reduce this through better diet, control of blood fats and blood pressure and exercise.
I tell my patients and parents that if they look after their diabetes carefully and are sensible about healthy eating and regular exercise then they should not have their life expectancy curtailed.
Original posting 23 Jul 1998
Posted to Complications
Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:58
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