London: People suffering from both diabetes and heart disease are at a greater early death risk than people with just one condition or no disease, a study said.
After analysing more than 135,000 deaths that occurred during prolonged follow-up of almost 1.2 million participants, researchers from the University of Cambridge found that an individual in his/her 60s having both the conditions has an average reduction in life expectancy of about 15 years.
"A combination of diabetes and heart disease is associated with a substantially lower life expectancy," said Emanuele Di Angelantonio from the department of public health and primary care in a paper that appeared in the journal of the American Medical Association.
At the age of 60 years, men with any two of the conditions would on average have 12 years of reduced life expectancy.
Men with three conditions - diabetes, stroke and heart attack (cardiometabolic diseases) - would have 14 years of reduced life expectancy.
For women at the age of 60 years, the corresponding estimates were 13 years and 16 years of reduced life expectancy.
The figures were even more dramatic for patients at a younger age.
At the age of 40 years, men with all three cardiometabolic conditions would on average have 23 years of reduced life expectancy and for women, the corresponding estimate was 20 years.
"Our results highlight the importance of preventing heart disease and stroke among patients with diabetes, and likewise averting diabetes amongst heart disease patients," said professor John Danesh, study co-author.
Measures aimed at reducing diabetes and heart disease among this group could have a dramatic impact on their lives, the study said.