Risk of Venous Thromboembolism Worse For Women with Diabetes Mellitus Than Men


A study showed that the risk of developing venous thromboembolism is worse for perimenopausal women with diabetes.

Women with diabetes mellitus (DM) have a greater risk of developing venous thromboembolism (VTE) than men, according to findings published in Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice.

Researchers from the Complexity Science Hub and MedUni Vienna in Austria, found that women with DM have a 1.52 higher risk of developing VTE than women without DM, whereas men with DM had a 1.3 times greater risk of VTE than men without DM.

"Our analyses show for the first time that diabetes mellitus might be associated with VTE to a greater extent in women than in men," said Elma Dervic, Complexity Science Hub, in a recent press release.

DM affects more than 8% of the entire population. It is a chronic disease and a well-known risk factor for developing VTE, considered a severe condition that includes deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary artery embolism. Pulmonary artery embolism is the more dangerous of the 2 conditions.

The Complexity Science Hub and MedUni Vienna research team analyzed a population-based dataset to determine the impact of gender and DM on risk of developing VTE. It is 1 of 3 studies currently evaluating gender-specific differences in patients with DM.

The research team examined 45 million data records on Austrian inpatient stays between 2003 and 2014 and collected data on 180,034 DM patients to analyze their risk of VTE. Of the total patient population, 70,739 were female and 102,295 were male.

Findings showed that patients with DM have an overall 1.4 times higher risk of VTE than those without DM, Dervic said. However, the results also showed that women—and particularly women who were perimenopausal—had an even higher risk of developing VTE compared to men.

"After the age of 40 in particular, the relative risk of VTE increases," said Carola Deischinger, Medical University of Vienna, in the press release.

The risk of vascular complications in women increases with age because estrogen levels drop during menopause. The study showed that women with DM between the ages of 50 and 59 years had the greatest risk, which was 1.65 times higher than those without DM.

The researchers further note that understanding the differences in gender and disease severity could lead to treatments that can be adjusted.

“Thanks to great research efforts and big data analyses, we already know much more about this today,” Dervic said in the press release. More analysis is needed find a correlation between risk of VTE among patients with DM, and it is an “important step towards the prevention of VTE in patients with DM, especially if they are women,” Dervic added.

"Our findings suggest that women with diabetes mellitus should be monitored more carefully for the development of VTE, especially during their perimenopause," concluded study author Alexandra Kautzky-Willer, MedUni Vienna, in the press release.


Complexity Science Hub Vienna. Diabetes mellitus: Women are at higher risk of venous thromboembolism than men. EurekAlert. News Release. Januaruy 3, 2022. Accessed January 4, 2023. https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/975483

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