Trends in mortality, cardiovascular complications, and risk factors in type 2 diabetes

E. M. Heintjes, E. Houben, W. L. Beekman-Hendriks, E. Lighaam, S. M. Cremers, F. J.A. Penning-van Beest, C. D.A. Stehouwer, R. M.C. Herings

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19 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Quality of diabetes care in the Netherlands ranked second in the Euro Diabetes Index 2014, but data on outcomes are lacking. We assessed trends in cardiovascular disease and mortality among type 2 diabetes (T2DM) patients in the context of risk factor control. Methods: Annual cohorts of adult T2DM patients were constructed from the PHARMO Database Network. Age-standardised mortality rates and incidence rates (IR) of hospitalisations for acute myocardial infarction (AMI), stroke, and congestive heart failure (CHF) were compared with a diabetes-free population matched on age, sex, and general practitioner. Life years lost (LYL) to T2DM or cardiovascular disease were determined by comparing life expectancy between matched groups. Proportions attaining glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c), blood pressure (BP), and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) goals were assessed annually. Results: Among 53,602 T2DM patients, slight increases in IR between 2008 and 2016 were proportional to those in diabetes-free controls; on average T2DM increased the risk of mortality by 86%, hospitalisation for AMI 69%, stroke 57%, and CHF 185%. At age 55, LYL to T2DM averaged 3.5 years and established CVD added 1.8 years, irrespective of sex. HbA1c goal attainment increased from 58% to 65%, LDL-C from 56% to 65%, and systolic BP from 57% to 72%. Conclusion: Despite highly organised diabetes care, excess incident cardiovascular events and mortality due to T2DM did not decrease over the study period. Life expectancy of T2DM patients is significantly reduced and risk factor control is suboptimal. This suggests there is considerable room for improvement of diabetes care in the Netherlands.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-329
Number of pages13
JournalNetherlands journal of medicine
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2019


  • Adult Aged Cardiovascular Diseases/*complications/epidemiology/*mortality Cohort Studies Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2/*complications/drug therapy Humans Hypoglycemic Agents/therapeutic use Male Metformin/therapeutic use Middle Aged Netherlands/epidemiology Risk Factors
  • Cardiovascular events
  • Glucose-lowering drugs
  • Mortality
  • Risk factor control
  • Type 2 diabetes

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