Type 1 diabetics diagnosed in childhood and born between 1965 and 1980 have an average life expectancy of 68.8 years. That compares to a lifespan average of 53.4 years for those born earlier, between 1950 and 1964. The figures are based on Pittsburgh, PA, residents and published in a recent issue of Diabetes.
Elizabeth Hughes, one of the very first users of insulin injections, lived to be 73. She started on insulin around 1922.
Average overall life expectancy in the U.S. is 78.2 years—roughly 76 for men and 81 for women.
Don’t be too discouraged if you have diabetes: you have roughly a 50:50 chance of beating the averages, and medical advances will continue to lengthen lifespan.