Wednesday, December 9, 2015

New AHA Statement: Women with Type 2 Diabetes Twice as Likely to Have Cardiovascular Disease as Men

The American Heart Association has issued a new statement in Circulation entitled, “Sex Differences in the Cardiovascular Consequences of Diabetes Mellitus.” Overall, the statement suggests that having Type 2 Diabetes causes more severe cardiovascular consequences for woman than it does for men. 

Specifically, 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 twice as likely to develop coronary heart disease than men;
  • And are less likely to have adequate diabetes control than men.

The statement also suggests that African-American and Hispanic women with Type 2 Diabetes are at especially greater risk for coronary heart disease and stroke compared to men with Type 2 Diabetes.

Another key finding from the statement suggests that women with Type 2 Diabetes may benefit more from intensive lifestyle modification than men with Type 2 Diabetes, with respect to cardiovascular risk reduction. The lifestyle modifications in question focus on healthier eating and increased physical activity.  A study from 2005 had previously shown that such modifications can reduce the need for antihypertensive and lipid-lowering pharmacotherapy, but the AHA statement has gone a step further by asserting that such modifications can actually impact adverse cardiovascular events directly. Click here to see the AHA’s news release about their new statement.

Lifestyle modifications are the cornerstone of the CDC recognized National Diabetes Prevention Program. In Colorado, there are over 25 providers of the National DPP. For more information about the National DPP in Colorado, visit our website.

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