Study: women with diabetes are at higher risk of complications

Study: women with diabetes are at higher risk of complications

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Women with diabetes have a lower life expectancy than men with diabetes

Around 7.6 million people in Germany are diabetic. The metabolic disease can result in numerous complications. Women with diabetes have a higher risk than men affected. Their life expectancy is also lower.

More than seven million Germans suffer from diabetes

Health experts say around 7.6 million diabetics live in Germany. 95 percent of them have type 2 diabetes. The disease can lead to numerous complications. Diabetes often causes diseases of the cardiovascular system, such as a heart attack or chronic heart failure. Diabetics have a higher risk of complications than diabetics. In addition, the life expectancy of women affected is lower than that of men with diabetes. The German Diabetes Society (DDG) points this out in a communication.

Being overweight increases the risk of illness

Obesity increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes in both sexes.

According to the DDG, women are on average more likely to be overweight and obese than men.

And although men are more likely to have abdominal fat distribution, high abdominal fat is a stronger risk factor for the metabolic disorder for women.

According to the experts, women with type 1 or type 2 diabetes also have a higher risk of mortality than men affected.

In Germany, it is 2.8 times higher in men with type 2 diabetes and 4.2 times higher in women than in people of both sexes with healthy metabolism. Biological, social and socio-psychological factors play a role here.

Higher mortality rate

"In all age groups, women have a higher mortality rate from diabetes than men," said Dr. med. Julia Szendrödi, head of the clinical study center at the German Diabetes Center (DDZ) in Düsseldorf.

"However, the difference is greatest in the age group of 65 to 69 year olds."

In addition, studies have shown that the mortality rate of women with diabetes is higher in Germany than in Sweden, Great Britain or Canada, despite comparable health care.

Increased stress also applies to women with type 1 diabetes
As the DDG writes, women with diabetes also have a significantly higher mortality rate from cardiovascular diseases.

"Even taking into account all other risk factors such as obesity, high blood pressure, blood lipid levels and smoking, women with diabetes have a 27 percent higher risk of stroke and a 44 percent higher risk of developing coronary artery disease compared to affected men," explains the medic.

This increased burden also applies to women with type 1 diabetes. If they suffer from this in early childhood, their risk of serious cardiovascular risk is up to 90 times higher than in women without diabetes.

Gender factors need to be researched

According to the DDG, effective biological prevention and treatment strategies need to be researched into gender-specific biological and social factors and behavior patterns.

"We are currently accompanying and examining women and men from their diabetes diagnosis at the German Diabetes Center in Düsseldorf as part of the German Diabetes Study," explains Dr. Szendrödi.

"It turns out that despite optimal treatment conditions, many women do not reach the target values ​​for glucose control, blood pressure and blood fat levels."

According to the information, increased rates of comorbidities and the higher mortality rate among women are related, among other things, to socio-psychological factors such as personal care in medical treatment, adherence to diets or sports activities.

"Women have deficits here more often than men and cite the coincidence of living conditions, other illnesses and physical limitations as possible reasons," explains the head of the Clinical Study Center at the DDZ.

According to Dr. Szendrödi has so far had insufficient data on life expectancy in women with diabetes.

"One reason for this could be that women of childbearing age are often excluded from clinical studies - on the one hand to avoid cycle-dependent effects and on the other hand to avoid the risk of an unplanned pregnancy with study medication." (Ad)

Author and source information

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