An Analysis of The Morbidity and Mortality of Diabetes Mellitus in a Forensic Context

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Abstract

To investigate the spectrum of diseases seen in diabetes mellitus in a forensic context, all autopsy reports of diabetic individuals who presented to Forensic Science, South Australia (FSSA), over a 5-year period from 2005 to 2009 were studied. The leading cause of death was cardiovascular disease (55.0%), followed by unnatural deaths (15.4%) and infections (9.4%). In type 1 diabetics, principal causes of death included cardiovascular disease (44.7%), acute metabolic complications (18.7%), unnatural deaths (17.9%), and infections (8.9%). However, frequencies of these diseases differed in type 2 diabetics, with cardiovascular events responsible for 56.6% of cases, followed by unnatural deaths (15.0%) and infections (10.9%). A larger number of male deaths were seen in all disease categories, except respiratory and gastrointestinal where the frequencies were similar to females. Cardiovascular disease was the leading overall cause of death across all ages except in those under the age of 30 where metabolic complications were more common.

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