Type 2 diabetes, socioeconomic status and life expectancy in Scotland (2012-2014): a population-based observational study

Jeremy Walker, Helen Colhoun, Shona Livingstone, Rory McCrimmon, John Petrie, Naveed Sattar, Sarah Wild (Lead / Corresponding author), Scottish Diabetes Research Network Epidemiology Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)
259 Downloads (Pure)


Aims/hypothesis: The aim of this study was to assess the role of socioeconomic status (SES) in the associations between type 2 diabetes and life expectancy in a complete national population.

Methods: An observational population-based cohort study was performed using the Scottish Care Information - Diabetes database. Age-specific life expectancy (stratified by SES) was calculated for all individuals with type 2 diabetes in the age range 40-89 during the period 2012-2014, and for the remaining population of Scotland aged 40-89 without type 2 diabetes. Differences in life expectancy between the two groups were calculated.

Results: Results were based on 272,597 individuals with type 2 diabetes and 2.75 million people without type 2 diabetes (total for 2013, the middle calendar year of the study period). With the exception of deprived men aged 80-89, life expectancy in people with type 2 diabetes was significantly reduced (relative to the type 2 diabetes-free population) at all ages and levels of SES. Differences in life expectancy ranged from -5.5 years (95% CI -6.2, -4.8) for women aged 40-44 in the second most-deprived quintile of SES, to 0.1 years (95% CI -0.2, 0.4) for men aged 85-89 in the most-deprived quintile of SES. Observed life-expectancy deficits in those with type 2 diabetes were generally greater in women than in men.

Conclusions/interpretation: Type 2 diabetes is associated with reduced life expectancy at almost all ages and levels of SES. Elimination of life-expectancy deficits in individuals with type 2 diabetes will require prevention and management strategies targeted at all social strata (not just deprived groups).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)108-116
Number of pages9
Issue number1
Early online date26 Oct 2017
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018


  • Epidemiology
  • Life expectancy
  • Socioeconomic status
  • Type 2 diabetes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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