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Diabetes Prevention, Care, and Education Need To Be Targeted To Men and Women Differently

Women had higher expectations of the benefits of self-management along with more depressive symptoms The objective of this study by researchers from Canada was to determine whether men and women with type 2 diabetes have different psychosocial, behavioral, and clinical characteristics at the time of their first visit to a diabetes education center. A questionnaire on psychosocial and behavioral characteristics was administered at participants’ first appointments at two diabetes education centers. Clinical and disease-related data were collected from their medical records. A total of 275 men and women with type 2 diabetes participated. Bivariate analyses were conducted to examine differences between men and women on the various characteristics.

They found that women were more likely to have a family history of diabetes, previous diabetes education, and higher expectations of the benefits of self-management. Women reported higher levels of social support from their diabetes health care team than men did, and had more depressive symptoms, higher body mass, and higher levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol than men did.

The researchers concluded: ”The results of this study provide evidence that diabetes prevention, care, and education need to be targeted to men and women differently. Primary care providers should encourage men to attend diabetes self-management education sessions and emphasize the benefits of self-care. Primary care providers should promote regular diabetes screening and primary prevention to women, particularly women with a family history of diabetes or a high body mass index; emphasize the importance of weight management for those with and without diabetes; and screen diabetic women for depressive symptoms.”

Approaching men and woman differently may be an important aspect to chronic disease management in other areas as well.

Can Fam Physician February 2008 Vol. 54 No. 2 Pp 219 – 227

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FACT:

Black Tea May Help Fight Type 2 Diabetes: Scientists in Scotland have unexpectedly discovered that black tea may help to combat type 2 diabetes. The discovery is at the laboratory stage and the research team is hoping to get funding to investigate further and replicate their findings in clinical settings. Rena and colleagues are researching compounds that have the potential to replace insulin in type 2 diabetes. Rena found that the black tea compounds the aflavins and the arubigins behaved like insulin.  "What we have found is that these constituents can mimic insulin action on proteins known as FOXOs."FOXOs (short for forkhead transcription factor family O) are known to regulate links between diet and health in many organisms, including mice, worms and fruit flies, said Rena.  This study is just the first step, and if they can find substances that restore the regulation of the FOXO proteins in people with type 2 diabetes, then these could be used to help them overcome some of the serious health problems that this diagnosis brings. Journal Aging Cell, Volume 7 Issue 1 Page 69-77 Feb. 2008