A large review of nearly 1 million people has revealed that women with diabetes are 44% likely to be at risk of heart disease.
The research was a meta-analysis of 64 cohorts meaning the researchers reviewed the results of 64 previously run studies which detailed heart disease risk distinctly in women and men. The meta analysis allowed the researchers to review 858,507 million individuals and 28,203 heart disease events.
The results showed that women with diabetes had a risk of incident coronary heart disease that was 44% higher than male counterparts. The risk was not shown to significantly vary when data was adjusted for major cardiovascular risk factors such as BMI, blood pressure, cholesterol levels and smoking status.
In explanation of the results, the researchers note that other studies, including the UK Prospective Diabetes Study, have shown that diabetes is first diagnosed in women at a greater BMI level than men. The researchers noting that this suggests that women’s metabolic health may need to deteriorate to a greater extent than men for the signs of diabetes to become apparent.
Heart disease has previously been shown to be 8 times more common in women with diabetes than those without it. The cost of treating heart disease accounts for a large proportion of the NHS budget. For treating diabetes and its complications with heart disease, treatment costs are greatly exceeding the costs of diabetes education, insulin, other diabetes medications and blood glucose testing supplies.
The researchers note that more importance may need to be placed upon screening of women for prediabetes to be able to prevent heart disease at an earlier stage.

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