Diabetes If you have been diagnosed with diabetes after the age of 50, then there are chances that you could lose around eight years from your expected lifespan.

In the study that quantifies the exact loss in years, researchers from the University Medical Centre, Rotterdam and Unilever Corp. Research, UK, found that on an average, diabetic men aged 50 or over, lived 7.5 years less than their diabetes-free peers. For women, the loss of years was 8.2.

The study’s lead author, Dr. Oscar H Franco, collected data on over 5,200 US men and women (aged 28-62 years, recruited between 1948 and 1951 and followed for more than 46 years). They were monitored until they developed heart disease or died. The researchers also noted whether they were diabetic.

The results showed that the risk of developing heart disease was double in diabetic women than in non-diabetic women. Compared with non-diabetic women, diabetic women who already had heart disease were also more than twice as likely to die.

The researchers found that compared with non-diabetic men, those with diabetes also had twice the risk of developing heart disease and faced a 1.7 times higher risk of dying after developing heart trouble.