Mexico city prospective study

Between 1998 and 2004, CTSU, in collaboration with the Mexican Ministry of Health, established a study in Mexico City, in which over 150,000 middle-aged adults (including 100,000 women and 50,000 men) provided information about their lifestyle and disease history, had physical measurements recorded (including weight, waist and hip circumference, blood pressure) and had a blood sample taken.

All participants are now being tracked for mortality through linkage to Mexican national mortality databases; by December 2013, 16,000 were confirmed to have died. By relating participants' characteristics at recruitment to death over the following decades, this study is now investigating the main causes of premature death in Mexico.

A resurvey of 10,000 surviving participants is taking place in 2015 to 2017 to examine how lifestyles, physical measurements and blood biomarkers have changed over the past 15 years. This resurvey will allow for a better assessment of the relevance to premature death of characteristics that can vary over time (such as adiposity, diabetes, blood pressure, smoking and alcohol consumption).

The Mexico City Prospective Study is being done in collaboration with the National Autonomous University of Mexico in Mexico City and has received funding from the Mexican Ministry of Health (Secretaria de Salud), the Mexican National Council of Science and Technology (Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnologia), the British Heart Foundation, the UK Medical Research Council, and the UK Wellcome Trust (grant number 058299/Z/99).

Recent results: Diabetes and cause-specific mortality

At recruitment, nearly half of women and one-third of men aged 50-59 were obese (ie, had a BMI ≥30 kg/m2) and by age 60 more than 1-in-5 had a confirmed diagnosis of diabetes. Of those with previously-diagnosed diabetes, analysis of blood samples revealed that blood sugar was on average poorly controlled. Over the next 12 years, those with diabetes had four times the overall death rate at ages 35-74 compared with people without diabetes. (In comparison, in high-income countries people with diabetes have been found to have only about twice the death rate of other people.) The biggest excess risk of death among people with diabetes was from kidney disease, followed by heart and other vascular disease, infection and acute diabetic crises (also reflecting poor blood sugar control).

Overall, the excess mortality among people with diabetes accounted for at least one-third of all deaths between the ages 35-74 years, which is twice what previous studies had suggested.

The full paper is avaliable to view here.

Data Access and Sharing

The Mexico City Study is a collaboration between CTSU and National Autonomous University Of Mexico. The study's data are not currently freely available, but specific proposals for future collaboration or specific analyses, addressed (in English or Spanish) to any of the study's Mexico-based or Oxford-based investigators, would be welcomed.

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