While doctors know that diabetes raises the risk of heartfailure, a global study of 12 million people has found that this risk isgreater for women than men.
According to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF),currently 415 million adults world-wide live with diabetes – with approximately199 million of them being women.
In India, which is often called the diabetes capital of theworld, there were over 72 million cases of diabetes in 2017 – which means about8.8 per cent of the country’s adult population had the disease.
While Type-1 diabetes is associated with a 47 per centexcess risk of heart failure in women compared to men, Type-2 diabetes has anine per cent higher excess risk of heart failure for women than men, said thestudy published in the journal Diabetologia.
There are a number of reasons why women with diabetes are atgreater risk of heart complications, said study co-author Sanne Peters of TheGeorge Institute for Global Health at the University of Oxford.
“Women were reported to have two years’ longer durationof prediabetes than men and this increased duration may be associated withgreater excess risk of heart failure in women” said Peters.
“Some major concerns are that women are also beingundertreated for diabetes, are not taking the same levels of medications as menand are less likely to receive intensive care,” Peters said.
The IDF reports that girls and women with diabetesexperience a range of challenges. Gender roles, power imbalances, socioeconomicinequalities resulting in poor diet and lack of physical activity can allinfluence vulnerability to diabetes.
Women’s limited access to health services and lack ofpro-activity when it comes to seeking treatment for health problems can alsoamplify the impact of diabetes, particularly in developing countries.
The IDF expects by the year 2040 around 313 million womenwill be suffering from the disease.
Diabetes is the ninth leading cause of death in women andclaims 2.1 million female lives every year, more so than men. The number oneleading cause of death for women is heart disease.