Surprising Find About Diabetes Deaths
Surprising Find About Diabetes Deaths, Some people who died from a diabetic complication had no prior history of the disease, a study says. People Dying of Diabetes Who Never Knew They Had It, Study Finds, People who don’t know they have Type 1 diabetes may account for a surprising number of deaths from one complication of the condition, a new study says.
Nearly a third of people in Maryland who died over a six-year period from diabetic ketoacidosis, a condition of severe insulin deficiency, had no known history of diabetes, the study of autopsy results found.
While the researchers weren’t able to definitively tell whether those who died had Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, their high blood sugar levels suggest they probably had Type 1, said study researcher Dr. Zabiullah Ali, the assistant medical examiner for the Office of Chief Medical Examiner in Maryland.
The finding highlights the need for regular physicals that include checking blood sugar levels, especially if warning signs of diabetes are present, the researchers said.
The study was published in the September issue of the American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology.
Diabetic ketoacidosis is a complication of diabetes that occurs when body cells don’t have enough glucose (sugar) to use for energy, so they switch to burning fat instead. (Body cells need insulin in order to take up sugar from the bloodstream; in people with Type 1 diabetes, little or no insulin is produced.)
Breaking down fat for energy produces molecules called ketones, which are acids and can build up in the blood. If ketone levels climb too high, they can poison the body, causing chemical imbalances that can lead to coma, or death.