Up to 24,000 people in England with diabetes are dying each year from causes that could be avoided through better management of their condition, new government figures show.
The first ever report into mortality from the National Diabetes Audit also finds that death rates among women aged 15-34 with diabetes are up to nine times higher than the average for this age group.
Poor management of a patient's condition, leading an unhealthy lifestyle and not taking medication appropriately can increase the risk of death from causes including critically high or low blood sugar, heart failure or kidney failure.
Good diabetes care greatly reduces the risk of heart or kidney failure, while good diabetes education can help people with diabetes to reduce their risk of dangerously high or low blood sugar.
About three-quarters of the 24,000 people with diabetes who die each year are aged 65 and over, but the gap in death rates between those who have and who do not have diabetes becomes more and more extreme with younger age, the report shows.
About one in 3,300 women in England between the ages of 15 and 34 will die, but this risk increases nine-fold among women with type 1 diabetes to one in 360, and six-fold among women with type 2 diabetes to one in 520.
The picture is similar for young men with diabetes among the English population; those aged 15-34 are much more likely to die than women, at one in every 1,530, but this risk rises four-fold for men with type 1 diabetes to one in 360, and by just under four-fold among those with type 2 diabetes to one in 430.
This means that two young people aged 15-34 may be dying each week from avoidable causes, says the report.
Its findings echo conclusions made earlier this year by the National Diabetes Audit, which found nearly 450,000 children and younger adults (aged 0-54) with diabetes have high-risk blood sugar levels that could lead to severe complications.
The audit, which is managed by the NHS Information Centre and commissioned by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP), also found this age group was the least likely to receive all the basic care checks required to monitor their condition.
It also reveals a strong link between deprivation and increased mortality rates. Among under-65s with diabetes, the number of deaths of people from the most deprived backgrounds is double that of those from the least deprived backgrounds.
Also, death rates among people with diabetes vary according to where they live. London has the lowest rates for both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, at 1.8% and 1.2% respectively, while the highest rate for both type 1 and type 2 diabetes was in the North East, at 2.4% and 1.7%, respectively.