Why men have greater risks of diabetes than women

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Diabetes, a condition that affects millions globally, has been found to pose significantly higher health risks for men compared to women.

This conclusion comes from a comprehensive study conducted in Australia, which analyzed the health outcomes of individuals living with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes is a chronic disease that impacts the body’s ability to process blood sugar, and it can lead to severe complications if not managed properly.

The study focused on several major health issues linked to diabetes, such as cardiovascular diseases, vision loss, kidney damage, and problems related to legs and feet.

Surprisingly, the research revealed that men are more vulnerable to these complications regardless of the duration they have lived with the disease, whether it be less than or more than ten years.

The global situation regarding diabetes is alarming, with nearly equal prevalence in both men and women. However, it is projected that by 2045, the number of people living with diabetes will soar to 783 million.

Historically, cardiovascular diseases are more common among men, but it was unclear if this trend extended to diabetic complications. The study aimed to clarify these patterns and understand if the duration of living with diabetes influenced the risks.

Researchers used data from the 45 and Up Study, a large-scale health survey from New South Wales. This survey included responses from over 267,000 people aged 45 and above.

For this particular research, medical records of 25,713 diabetic patients were meticulously reviewed to track the onset and progression of diabetes-related health issues.

These complications range from heart diseases like ischemic heart disease and heart failure to eye problems including cataracts and diabetic retinopathy—a serious condition that can lead to blindness.

Other complications monitored were nerve damage, foot and leg ulcers, poor circulation leading to amputations, and severe kidney ailments that could require dialysis or transplant.

The demographic of the study group was primarily middle-aged adults, with men forming a majority. These men were not only more likely to be overweight compared to their female counterparts, but they also had a higher incidence of previous heart diseases.

Although smoking rates were similar between genders, a significant difference was noted in past smoking habits, with more men being former smokers.

Over the course of ten years, the study observed that men consistently faced higher risks of developing diabetes-related complications. For instance, 44% of the men experienced some form of cardiovascular complication, and 35% faced kidney-related issues.

These numbers starkly contrasted with those for women, who exhibited lower rates of such complications. Despite a similar risk of developing eye problems overall, men were still slightly more likely to suffer from diabetic retinopathy.

One of the intriguing aspects of the study was that the risk of complications increased with the number of years a person had lived with diabetes, yet the disparity between genders remained consistent over time.

Researchers believe this could be due to several factors, including lifestyle choices, reluctance in adopting preventive measures, and infrequent health screenings among men.

Though the study is observational and cannot definitively establish causality, the findings underscore the need for heightened awareness and proactive management of diabetes, especially in men.

Every year, out of 1,000 people with diabetes, dozens are likely to develop serious health issues. The study suggests implementing targeted screening and preventive strategies right from the diagnosis to mitigate these risks.

Overall, while both men and women with diabetes face high risks, the study highlights a crucial need for further research into why men are more adversely affected.

This could eventually lead to more effective, tailored interventions that could help reduce the burden of diabetes complications across the population.

If you care about diabetes, please read studies that pomace olive oil could help lower blood cholesterol, and honey could help control blood sugar.

For more information about diabetes, please see recent studies about Vitamin D that may reduce dangerous complications in diabetes and results showing plant-based protein foods may help reverse type 2 diabetes.

The research findings can be found in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

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