Study: Diabetes Found Deadlier on Women's Hearts

Women with Type-2 diabetes are more prone to heart attacks than their male counterparts, studies have revealed.
Women with Type-2 diabetes are more prone to heart attacks than their male counterparts, studies have revealed. (iStock photo )

The American Heart Association is calling for more action to prevent diabetes from taking a deadly toll on women's hearts. 

Slightly more than nine percent of Americans have Type 2 diabetes, which accounts for about 90 percent of those with the metabolic disorders, and the rate is climbing. The disease occurs at similar rates between men and women, statistics say.

But women with diabetes are twice as likely to develop coronary heart disease compared to men, and may also need more frequent and intense physical activity to lower their risk of having a heart attack or stroke, the new AHA scientific statement says.

The statement also notes that women with Type 2 diabetes:

  • have heart attacks at earlier ages than men;
  • are more likely to die after a first heart attack than men;
  • are less likely to undergo procedures to open clogged arteries, such as angioplasty or coronary artery bypass grafting than men;
  • are less likely to be on cholesterol lowering drugs such as statins, take aspirin or use blood pressure-lowering medications than men;
  • are less likely to have their blood sugar or blood pressure under control than men;
  • develop Type 2 diabetes based on sex-specific differences, such as gestational diabetes and polycystic ovary syndrome

In addition, African-American and Hispanic women with Type 2 diabetes also are at higher risk for coronary heart disease and stroke compared to men, the statement notes.

The AHA is also called for more research to find out the reason for these differences and learn what can be done to lessen the impact of diabetes on women and minorities, according to the statement, which is published in Circulation.

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