Over time, diabetes can damage the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, and nerves.
Diabetes increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. 50% of people with diabetes die of cardiovascular disease (primarily heart disease and stroke).
Combined with reduced blood flow, neuropathy (nerve damage) in the feet increases the chance of foot ulcers, infection and eventual need for limb amputation.
Diabetic retinopathy is an important cause of blindness, and occurs as a result of long-term accumulated damage to the small blood vessels in the retina. One percent of global blindness can be attributed to diabetes.
Diabetes is among the leading causes of kidney failure.
The overall risk of dying among people with diabetes is at least double the risk of their peers without diabetes.