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Cardiovascular Risk Factors are Greater in Women with Diabetes

Apr 25, 2013

A survey also found that women take less medication to help improve both diabetes and cardiovascular disease….

Research comparing mortality rates in women with diabetes to those in men with diabetes found that women have the greater risk for death and that risk increases the longer the disease goes undiagnosed. Cardiovascular disease also has a greater impact on women with diabetes compared to the men.

Realizing that female patients with diabetes are at a greater risk for complications their cardiovascular risk factors should be considered when clinicians are designing their diabetes treatment therapy.

Type 2 diabetes is often diagnosed late in the progression of the disease and some patients have been found to have had the disease for up to 9-12 years prior to diagnosis. With the late diagnosis many complications due to diabetes have already occurred.

A retrospective cohort study was completed which looked at approximately 74,000 individuals aged 25 years or older. Over 15,000 of these individuals had diabetes and of those over 9,500 were diagnosed late. The late diagnosis was given since the patients already had comorbidities at the time of diabetes diagnosis.

Patients with diabetes — both women and men — are more likely to die at a younger age and to be hospitalized compared to those without diabetes. Women with a late diagnosis of diabetes had an even greater risk for cardiovascular mortality and hospitalization.

Through this study the authors determined it is best to have individualized treatment for both women and men, considering their age, duration of diabetes, hypoglycemia and cardiovascular risk. The cardiovascular risk factors have a greater impact on women, while women are also found to not be treated as aggressively as men. A survey completed also found that women with diabetes are less likely to use insulin, have A1C checks, take aspirin, and use cholesterol medication compared to men with diabetes.

Diabetes Care, April 5, 2013