Cardiovascular Risk Higher for
Women than Men with Type 2 Diabetes
Dr. Adrienne A.M. Zandbergen and colleagues from Erasmus University Medical Centre, Rotterdam, the Netherlands investigated whether female sex was associated with cardiovascular disease, cerebrovascular disease, peripheral artery disease, and death, independently of recognized cardiovascular risk factors related to type 2 diabetes.

The study followed 46 men and 21 women with diabetes. They were normotensive but had microalbuminuria. During a mean follow-up of just under 5 years, eight women (38.1%) and six men (13.4%) met the end point.

Women were 3.19 times more likely than men to develop cardiovascular disease, the investigators calculate. After adjustment for age, blood pressure, body-mass index, dyslipidemia, smoking, and urinary albumin excretion, the risk increased to 6.4-fold, and adjustment that included retinopathy increased the risk to 8.23-fold.

"We conclude that female sex is an independent risk factor for macrovascular disease and death in our study population of normotensive patients with type 2 diabetes and microalbuminuria," the researchers say.

"Further research is needed to fully elucidate the pathogenesis of this excessive risk in women with type 2 diabetes because, at this point, we did not find risk indicators that discriminate between women with high and low risk of cardiovascular disease," Dr. Zandbergen and colleagues comment.

Sept 2 2006

Diabetes Care 2006;29:1851-1855