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Women with Diabetes Show Higher Mortality Risk than Men

This SmartBrief summary caught our attention:

“A study in Diabetes Care revealed women with diabetes had higher risk of mortality compared with men. “Cardiovascular disease in particular has a greater impact on females with diabetes than males, especially when the disease is diagnosed late, as is often the case,” said co-author Madonna Roche. “Clinicians could consider glucose control in addition to CVD risk factors when designing treatment strategies for patients, recognizing that female patients may be at higher risk than males for adverse outcomes.”  The entire article can be found on Medscape.

Not only do “Women with diabetes have a greater risk for death than men with diabetes,” the study shows that “Cardiovascular disease [CVD] in particular has a greater impact on females with diabetes than males, especially when the disease is diagnosed late, as is often the case,” coauthor Madonna M. Roche, MSC, from the research and evaluation department, Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Health Information, St. John’s, told Medscape Medical News.”

“Clinicians could consider glucose control in addition to CVD risk factors when designing treatment strategies for patients, recognizing that female patients may be at higher risk than males for adverse outcomes,” Ms. Roche suggested.”

Generally speaking, world wide, “the incidence and prevalence of diabetes have been increasing in recent years. All too often, type 2 diabetes is diagnosed late, sometimes as long as 9 to 12 years after the disease develops, and as a result, complications are often present at the time of diagnosis.”

This study “aimed to compare the risk for all-cause, CVD, AMI, and stroke mortality and hospitalizations for men and women with and without diabetes, as well those with early and late diagnoses of diabetes.”

“Both men and women with diabetes were more likely to die, to be younger at death, to have a shorter survival time, and to be admitted to hospitals than men and women without diabetes (P < .01). However, these risks were stronger in women than in men.”

“Ms. Roche suggests that treatment strategies for men and women should be individualized based on patient age, duration of diabetes, hypoglycemia risk, and presence or absence of CVD.  Perhaps the focus should be on not only glucose control but rather all CVD risk factors, recognizing that female patients may be at a higher risk than males for adverse outcomes. Cardiovascular risk factors may have a stronger effect on women than on men. Also, CVD risk factors tend to be less aggressively treated in women. In addition, data from the Newfoundland and Labrador Component of the Canadian Community Health Survey show that women with diabetes are less likely to use insulin, to have their hemoglobin A1c levels tested, or to be prescribed aspirin and cholesterol-lowering medications than are men with diabetes.  We hope that this study will raise awareness of the increased risk of mortality and hospitalization outcomes that females have when diabetes is present,” she said.”

If you have some experience with the topics raised by this study, please do share them with us, either in the comments section below or on our Facebook page.  We look forward to learning from your experiences!

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