Experts aren’t sure why, but say better treatment and support needed for both sexes
FRIDAY, Feb. 6, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Women with type 1 diabetes have a nearly 40 percent greater risk of dying from any cause and more than double the risk of dying from heart disease than men with type 1 diabetes, according to a report published online Feb. 5 in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.
In an analysis of 26 studies that included 214,114 people, researchers found that women with type 1 diabetes had a 37 percent higher risk of dying from stroke compared to men with type 1 diabetes. The researchers also found that women with type 1 diabetes had a 44 percent greater risk of dying from kidney disease than men with type 1 diabetes.
Women may have a harder time controlling blood glucose levels due to a number of factors, such as changing hormone levels — particularly during puberty — that can affect the body’s sensitivity to insulin and cause fluctuations in blood glucose levels, according to lead researcher Rachel Huxley, D.Phil., director of the Queensland Clinical Trials and Biostatistics Center at the University of Queensland in Herston, Australia, and her coauthors. The researchers also speculated that high levels of blood glucose may cause more damage to women’s blood vessels than to men’s.
David Simmons, M.D., a professor of medicine at the University of Western Sydney in Penrith, Australia, and author of an accompanying journal editorial, told HealthDay: “Among people without diabetes, women live longer than men. This advantage is being lost among women with type 1 diabetes. Both women and men with type 1 diabetes are dying much younger than they should.” He added that “much of the excess death among men and women is preventable with better access to methods of controlling blood sugar, such as insulin pumps.”
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