With the help of big data, researchers found that life expectancy for people with a history of both cardiovascular disease and diabetes was substantially lower than for people with just one condition or no disease, according to a paper published Tuesday in The Journal of the American Medical Association.
Previous studies have estimated that around 10 million adults in the United States and the European Union are living with more than one cardio metabolic illness.
In the new study, researchers at the University of Cambridge analyzed more than 135,000 deaths which occurred during prolonged follow-up of almost 1.2 million participants in population cohorts.
They used this to provide estimates of reductions in life expectancy associated with a history of different combinations of diabetes, stroke, and/or cardio metabolic diseases, according to the paper.
The researchers found that around one person in a hundred from the cohorts they analyzed had two or more conditions.
"We showed that having a combination of diabetes and heart disease is associated with a substantially lower life expectancy," said Dr. Emanuele Di Angelantonio from the University of Cambridge.
Di Angelantonio also said an individual in their sixties who has both conditions has an average reduction in life expectancy of about 15 years.
The results highlight the importance of preventing heart disease and stroke amongst patients with diabetes, and likewise averting diabetes amongst heart disease patients, researchers said.