More death certificates cite diabetes as underlying cause of death
Death certificates now list diabetes as the underlying cause of death more often than in previous years, data from the Translating Research into Action for Diabetes trial suggest.
Of 2,261 participants enrolled in the study who died from 2000 to 2007, 41% had diabetes listed on their death certificates and 13% cited the disease as the underlying cause of death. These findings indicated increased reporting of diabetes as the underlying cause of death over time, the researchers said, although the frequency of the disease’s appearance on death certificates in general remained unchanged.
In contrast, the listing of cardiovascular disease as an underlying cause of death declined significantly throughout the study period, a factor that may have played a role in the increased reporting of diabetes as an underlying cause of death, the researchers said. They attributed this trend to a decrease in the reporting of cardiac causes of death for men and cerebrovascular causes of death for women. Diabetes was more likely to be recorded anywhere on the death certificate in decedents with CVD cited as the underlying cause of death.
“Although diabetes listed as any cause of death was stable over time, we have observed a statistically significant increase in reporting of diabetes as the underlying cause of death on death certificates between 2001 and 2008 independent of age at death and duration of diabetes at death,” the researchers wrote. “If this trend is indeed occurring on a national level, it may complicate the interpretation of mortality rates ascertained from death certificates.”
Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures