Higher risk of alcohol- and suicide-related death in diabetes

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A new study uncovers a worrying association: people who have any form of diabetes are more likely to die by suicide, causes related to alcohol consumption, or due to an accident.

Researchers at the Universities of Helsinki and Tampere, and from Helsinki University Hospital — all in Finland — conducted a large population study investigating the relationship between diabetes and the risk of death due to factors such as alcohol, suicide, and accidents.

Both type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes place people at a heightened risk of cardiovascular events, such as heart attack and stroke, as well as cancer and kidney disease.

All of these related health conditions can lead to premature death. However, other factors may also shorten the lifespan of people with a diabetes diagnosis.

One study published in the Journal of Medicine and Life in 2016, for instance, discovered that the occurrence of depression in people with diabetes is two to three times higher than in other individuals.

People with diabetes have spoken out about the toll that this disease takes on their mental health. For example, one even declared in an interview that “diabetes and depression are like bad twins.”

In the new study paper, Prof. Leo Niskanen and colleagues suggest that the mental health issues that may come to accompany a diagnosis of diabetes may also be the culprits behind the higher risk of death due to suicide, alcohol, or accidents.

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