Women with diabetes at higher risk of heart problems


A study reveals that women with diabetes are more susceptible to heart problems when compared to men.

An international research team conducted a systematic investigation and meta-analysis of more than 850,000 patients from 64 different studies and found that women with diabetes are 44 percent more likely to get coronary heart disease (CHD) when compared to men in similar situation.

The analysis was done by Dr. Sanne Peters of the University of Cambridge, Prof. Rachel Huxley of the University of Queensland's School of Population Health and Prof. Mark Woodward of the George Institute for Global Health in Sydney, Australia.

The researchers have put forward the findings based on data collected from 1966 to 2011. The report was released on Thursday, May 22, in the online journal Diabetologia.

"It is conceivable, therefore, that the diabetes-related excess risk of CHD in women may be due to a combination of both a greater deterioration in cardiovascular risk factor levels and a chronically elevated cardiovascular risk profile in the prediabetic state, driven by greater levels of adiposity in women compared with men," per the authors of the study.

The study revealed that women with diabetes are 25 percent more likely to get a stroke. The research also points out that diabetic woman are three times more vulnerable to develop CHD when compared to non-diabetic women. Men with diabetes are only two times as likely to develop CHD when compared to men without diabetes.

"If confirmed, the implementation of sex-specific interventions before diabetes becomes manifest-such as increased screening for prediabetes, especially in women, combined with more stringent follow-up of women at high risk for diabetes, such as women with a history of gestational diabetes-could have a substantial impact on the prevention of CHD," added the authors.

The researchers say that in the past women have been under-treated for the danger of heart problems. The authors of the study also speculate that metabolically women deteriorate faster than men, which makes women develop diabetes even earlier in their life.

If the findings of the analysis are verified, then doctors should consider using gender specific treatment for treating diabetes, which will allow doctors to find the risk of heart diseases at an early stage.

The authors of the study say that further research is required to understand the real mechanisms that are accountable for the disparity in diabetes-related coronary risk between men and women. 

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