Women with Diabetes have an Increased Risk of Heart Failure

Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States, according to the American Diabetes Association. There are numerous studies proving that those with diabetes have an increased risk of heart diseases such as heart failure. However, new studies find that women who have diabetes are at an astonishingly higher risk of developing heart failure than men.

A recent study done by the European Association for the Study of Diabetes, found that women with type 2 diabetes are at a 9% higher risk of heart failure compared to men with type 2 diabetes. Women with type 1 diabetes had a 47% higher risk than men as well.

The science is still unclear as to why women are at a much greater risk than men. One hypothesis is that during the pre-diabetic period, the time when there are no symptoms of high blood sugar levels, women can go much longer without it being diagnosed. Another reason may be the difference in heart attack symptoms in men and women. Often times, heart attacks can go untreated in women because the symptoms can be cases of fatigue, jaw pain and other unlikely symptoms, according to the Americna Heart Association.

What can we do to reduce this rate?

Maintenance and prevention are key factors, especially in women.

  • It is important to maintain your blood sugar levels. Make sure you are taking your medication as prescribed and you are checking up with your doctor.
  • Your cholesterol and blood pressure levels are also important to keep track of. Make sure they are at the healthy levels to help prevent heart disease and stroke.
  • Make sure you are maintaining a healthy weight by practicing healthy lifestyle choices like a plant-based diet and regular exercise.