Diabetes is the principal cause of death in Mexico. More than seven million Mexican adults have type 2 diabetes: nearly 14 percent of all adults in 2006, up from 6.7 percent in 1993. A new study suggests that the impact of diabetes on the Mexican health system will be significantly greater in the next two decades.

The study estimates that 53.9 percent of adults currently with diabetes will be dead by the year 2026. Their life expectancy will be reduced to an average of 10.9 years. The predicted 20 year-incidence of the principal cardiovascular complications per 1000 diabetic individuals are: ischemic heart disease 112, heart attack 260, heart failure 113, stroke 101 and amputation 62.

“These predictions must urge the Mexican health system to establish effective treatment programs and improve diabetes care,” according to the study. “In the absence of such measures, the resources required to manage future diabetes related complications will surpass the capability of the Mexican health system.”

1. Reynoso-Noverón N, Mehta R, Almeda-Valdes P, et al. Estimated incidence of cardiovascular complications related to type 2 diabetes in Mexico using the UKPDS outcome model and a population-based survey. Cardiovascular Diabetology 2011; 10: 1. (open access)