Study suggests that men face higher risk of serious health complications from diabetes than women

The study published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health suggests that men are at greater risk than women of the major health effects of diabetes, both type 1 and type 2. The research findings show that rates of cardiovascular disease, leg, foot, kidney complications, and the sight-threatening eye disease diabetic retinopathy are higher in men, regardless of the duration of diabetes.

The global prevalence of diabetes is similar in men and women, but the study projects a rise to 783 million by 2045. While cardiovascular disease is more common in men overall, it was unclear if this sex difference was apparent in the complications associated with diabetes or if the duration of living with diabetes played a role.

To explore this further, the researchers analyzed survey responses from the 45 and Up Study in Australia, which included 267,357 participants over the age of 45. The study focused on 25,713 individuals with type 1 or type 2 diabetes to monitor the development of health issues related to diabetes, such as cardiovascular disease, eye problems, and kidney complications.

The results showed that men had higher rates and were at greater risk of complications associated with diabetes. Over a 10-year monitoring period, men were more likely to develop cardiovascular disease, eye complications, leg/foot issues, and kidney problems compared to women. The study also found that the risk of complications increased with the number of years lived with diabetes for both men and women.

The researchers suggested that the higher risk for men could be attributed to known risk factors and potential lifestyle differences. The study emphasized the need for targeted screening and prevention strategies for both men and women with diabetes, especially from the time of diagnosis.

While men with diabetes are at greater risk of developing complications, the researchers emphasized that complication rates are high in both sexes. Further investigation into the underlying mechanisms of sex differences in diabetes complications is necessary to inform targeted interventions and improve patient outcomes.

In conclusion, the study highlights the importance of early screening and prevention strategies for individuals with diabetes to reduce the risk of complications and improve overall health outcomes. The findings underscore the need for continued research and interventions to address the health disparities observed between men and women with diabetes.

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