In patients with diabetes, women at higher risk for cardiovascular event

Women with diabetes have a 34% higher risk of experiencing cardiovascular events.
Women with diabetes have a 34% higher risk of experiencing cardiovascular events.

Women with diabetes have a 34% higher risk for experiencing an acute myocardial infarction (MI) than men with diabetes as they age, according to data presented at EASD 2015, the annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes.

The study suggests that a gender-driven “risk window” opens in perimenopausal women, and clinicians may need to manage diabetes in this population in a more tailored fashion.  

In addition, the study shows that postmenopausal women experience a greater risk for ischemic stroke and congestive heart failure, but to a lesser extent than for MI.

“It is known that diabetic females have an excess risk of cardiovascular events than their male counterparts, as based on previously published population studies or wide meta-analyses. What surprised me was that this difference was strictly related to age and type of cardiovascular event,” said study investigator Giuseppe Seghieri, MD, from the Regional Health Agency in Florence, Italy.

Study Details, Results

Seghieri, who presented the study findings at EASD 2015, said this new information should call attention to the need for timely and gender-oriented efforts to prevent cardiovascular (CV) events in adults over age 40 with diabetes. 

It has been known for years that women with diabetes have a higher risk for CV events than men with diabetes, when compared with their peers without the disease. However, until now, it has been unclear when this risk begins or how long it lasts.

Seghieri and his colleagues conducted a retrospective follow-up study of a cohort of patients with diabetes living in Tuscany, Italy. In the study, they compared the effect of age on diabetes-related excess risk for hospitalization due to acute MI, ischemic stroke and congestive heart failure in men vs. women. 

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