The mortality experience of 5971 members of the British Diabetic Association (BDA) was followed-up for between five and eight years to mid-1973. Overall, 1207 deaths occurred compared with 778 expected from the mortality of the population of England and Wales in 1972. This excess of deaths was due almost entirely to diabetes mellitus and ischaemic heart disease. Deaths from cancer (128) were significantly fewer than expected (168), mainly because of a deficit in the number of deaths from cancers related to smoking (cancers of the buccal cavity and pharynx, oesophagus, respiratory system, and bladder). There was also a lower than expected mortality from chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Data on saccharin consumption by BDA members showed that more than half of them used saccharin tablets daily, with an overall daily intake of three to six tablets, depending on age and sex. Information on a small sample of survivors from the mortality study suggested that about 23% of them would have taken saccharin daily for 10 years or more and 10% for 25 years or more by the end of the follow-up. It was concluded that these relatively high levels of saccharin intake had not increased the risk of cancer in general among BDA members.
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