Political Commentator David Broder has died.

Pulitzer Prize winning political commentator David Broder has died. The 81-year-old Washington Post columnist died of complications from diabetes. According to the Washington Post:

Mr. Broder was often called the dean of the Washington press corps – a nickname he earned in his late 30s in part for the clarity of his political analysis and the influence he wielded as a perceptive thinker on political trends in his books, articles and television appearances.

Broder won his Pulitzer Prize for his clear explanations of the fallout of the Watergate Crisis. He has covered every political convention since 1956, and was a frequent contributor to political talk shows such as Meet the Press.

According to data from the 2011 National Diabetes Fact Sheet (released Jan. 26, 2011):

  • Diabetes was the seventh leading cause of death based on U.S. death certificates in 2007. This ranking is based on the 71,382
    death certificates in 2007 in which diabetes was the underlying cause of death. Diabetes was a contributing cause of death in an additional 160,022 death certificates for a total of 231,404 certificates in 2007 in which diabetes appeared as any-listed cause of death.
  • Diabetes is likely to be under-reported as a cause of death. Studies have found that about 35% to 40% of decedents with diabetes had it listed anywhere on the death certificate and about 10% to 15% had it listed as the underlying cause of death.

Overall, the risk for death among people with diabetes is about twice that of people of similar age but without diabetes.

Complications of Diabetes

Heart disease and stroke

  • In 2004, heart disease was noted on 68% of diabetes-related death certificates among people aged 65 years or older.
  • In 2004, stroke was noted on 16% of diabetes-related death certificates among people aged 65 years or older.
  • Adults with diabetes have heart disease death rates about 2 to 4 times higher than adults without diabetes.
  • The risk for stroke is 2 to 4 times higher among people with diabetes.

High blood pressure

  • In 2005-2008, of adults aged 20 years or older with self-reported diabetes, 67% had blood pressure greater than or equal to 140/90 mmHg or used prescription medications for hypertension.

Blindness

  • Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults aged 20–74 years.
  • In 2005-2008, 4.2 million (28.5%) people with diabetes aged 40 years or older had diabetic retinopathy, and of these, almost 0.7 million (4.4% of those with diabetes) had advanced diabetic retinopathy that could lead to severe vision loss.

Kidney disease

  • Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure, accounting for 44% of new cases in 2008.
  • In 2008, 48,374 people with diabetes began treatment for end-stage kidney disease in the United States.
  • In 2008, a total of 202,290 people with end-stage kidney disease due to diabetes were living on chronic dialysis or with a kidney transplant in the United States.

Nervous system disease (Neuropathy)

Amputation

  • More than 60% of nontraumatic lower-limb amputations occur in people with diabetes.
  • In 2006, about 65,700 nontraumatic lower-limb amputations were performed in people with diabetes.

For more information about Diabetes, click here to go to the Resounding Health Casebook on the topic.

Michele R. Berman, M.D. was Clinical Director of The Pediatric Center, a private practice on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. from 1988-2000, and was named Outstanding Washington Physician by Washingtonian Magazine in 1999. She was a medical internet pioneer having established one of the first medical practice websites in 1997. Dr. Berman also authored a monthly column for Washington Parent Magazine.

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