Women with Type 2 diabetes are twice as likely to have coronary heart disease compared to men, according to a new American Heart Association scientific statement.
"Cardiovascular disease may be deadlier for women with Type 2 diabetes than it is for men," said Judith G. Regensteiner, chair of the statement writing group and director of the Centre for Women's Health Research at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Denver.
While scientists do not fully understand how the inherent hormonal differences between men and women affect risk, they do know that "some risk factors for heart disease and stroke affect women differently than men and there are disparities in how these risk factors are treated".
The statement said that the 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; and are less likely to undergo procedures to open clogged arteries, such as angioplasty or coronary artery bypass grafting than men.
It also points out that African-American and Hispanic women with Type 2 diabetes are disproportionately affected by coronary artery disease and stroke as compared to men with Type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is associated with the body not producing enough insulin to control blood sugar levels. While the new scientific statement clarifies some diabetes-related sex differences in heart and blood vessel disease, more research is necessary, according to the authors.
The scientific statement was published recently in the American Heart Association's journal Circulation.