Women with type 2 diabetes are more likely to have coronary heart disease than men, according to a statement from the American Heart Association (AHA).
People with diabetes are more at risk of heart disease, and previous research has found women with diabetes have an increased risk of cardiovascular problems compared to men.
In the AHA’s report, published in the journal Circulatio, they claim that women with type 2 diabetes might need to take more preventative action to lower their risk for heart attack and stroke. This includes engaging in more frequent and intense physical activity, and eating a healthy, balanced diet.
The statement notes that women with type 2 diabetes are:
More likely to have heart attacks earlier in life than men
More likely to die after a first heart attack
Less likely to have their blood pressure under control than men
Less likely to undergo procedures to open blocked arteries, such as angioplasty
Less likely to be on cholesterol-lowering drugs, such as statins, or blood pressure-lowering medication
The AHA also reports that black and Hispanic women with type 2 diabetes are more affected by coronary heart disease compared to men. Furthermore, women reportedly develop type 2 diabetes based on sex-specific variances, such as polycystic ovary syndrome and gestational diabetes.
Dr. Judith Regensteiner, University of Colorado School of Medicine, said: “Cardiovascular disease may be more deadly for women with type 2 diabetes than it is for men.
“While we don’t fully understand how the inherent hormonal differences between men and women affect risk, we do know that some risk factors for heart disease and stroke affect women differently than men and there are disparities in how these risk factors are treated.
“To improve health equity in women and men with diabetes, we need to understand and improve both the biological reasons for the disparities and also control cardiovascular risk factors equally in both women and men.”
The AHA acknowledged that further research is required to assess why women with type 2 diabetes react differently to some medications; why they are at risk greater cardiovascular risk than men, and why women of certain ethnicities appear to have the greatest risk.

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