The death rate from diabetes for the United States in 1956 showed a small increase over 1955. Provisional data for the entire year, based upon a 10 per cent sample of the death certificates, indicate an increase of 3 per cent for the year. A somewhat similar trend is found among the urban wage-earning population represented by the experience among industrial policyholders of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (table 1). In part, the increase reflects the continued rise in the proportion of older persons in the population. There was a parallel rise in the crude death rate from all causes, whereas the age-adjusted rate declined. It may be noted that the death rates from diabetes for the past three years have been appreciably below the rates during the period 1949-1953. The contrast is even more marked when the rates are age-adjusted to take into account the changing age distribution of the population.

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