Women with Diabetes More Likely to Develop Coronary Heart Disease

Pharmacy Times, June 2015 Women's Health, Volume 81, Issue 6

Women with diabetes have a considerably higher risk of developing coronary heart disease than men with diabetes.

Women with diabetes have a considerably higher risk of developing coronary heart disease (CHD) than men with diabetes, according to the results of a recent study. The study, published in Diabetologia, analyzed data from 64 previous studies that took place between 1966 and 2011. The researchers found that women with diabetes were 2.82 times more likely to develop CHD than women without diabetes and men with diabetes were found to be 2.16 times more likely to develop the disease than men without diabetes.

Together, both sets of data indicated that women with diabetes were 44% more likely to develop CHD than men with diabetes, even after accounting for sex differences in other CHD factors. Speculating on the possible reasons for this difference, the study authors suggested that women may experience additional metabolic deterioration compared with men before receiving a diabetes diagnosis, leaving women in a more compromised state before beginning treatment.

“Physicians may be more likely to recognize the early symptoms of CHD in men than women because of men’s higher absolute risk and, thus, sex differences in medication use and risk factor control may still exist,” wrote the study authors, acknowledging that further studies are needed to conclusively determine the mechanisms responsible for the differences in diabetes-related CHD risk between the sexes.