Principal Investigator

The most commonly-cited estimator of the contribution of diabetes to American mortality is the frequency of its appearance on death certificates as the underlying cause of death. Diabetes was listed as the underlying cause of death on 69,091 death certificates, or 2.8% of total deaths, in 2010.1 However, the frequency with which diabetes is listed as the underlying cause of death is not a reliable indicator of its actual contribution to the national mortality profile. In this research, we estimate the proportion of deaths attributable to diabetes by using nationally representative cohorts to identify the excess mortality risk among people with diabetes together with the prevalence of diabetes among deaths to estimate the fraction of deaths that would not have occurred in the absence of diabetes, i.e., the Population Attributable Fraction (PAF).

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