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Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2013 Mar;23(3):235-41. doi: 10.1016/j.numecd.2011.12.003. Epub 2012 Mar 6.

Women show worse control of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease risk factors than men: results from the MIND.IT Study Group of the Italian Society of Diabetology.

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Department of Internal Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University of Parma, via Gramsci 14, Parma, Italy.



The study explores the degree of control of hyperglycaemia and cardiovascular (CV) disease risk factors in men and women with type 2 diabetes and the impact thereon of obesity, central adiposity, age and use of medications.


A cross-sectional survey was conducted at 10 hospital-based outpatients diabetes clinics. 1297 men and 1168 women with no previous CV events were studied. Women were slightly (only one year) older and more obese than men: average BMI was respectively 30.7 ± 5.7 vs 28.6 ± 4.1 kg/m(2) (p < 0.001), and prevalence of abdominal obesity was 86% vs 44% (p < 0.001). Women smoked less, but had higher HbA1c, LDL cholesterol, non-HDL cholesterol, systolic blood pressure and serum fibrinogen than men. Accordingly optimal targets for HbA1c (<7%), LDL cholesterol (<100 mg/dL), HDL cholesterol (>40 for men, >50 for women, mg/dL), and systolic blood pressure (<130 mmHg) were less frequently achieved by women than men (respectively 33.8% vs 40.2%; 14.6% vs 19.2%; 34.1% vs 44.5%; 68.8% vs 72%; p < 0.05 for all). Findings were confirmed after stratification for waist circumference (< or ≥ 88 cm for women; < or ≥ 102 cm for men), BMI (< or ≥ 25 kg/m(2)) or age (< or ≥ 65 years). As for treatment, women were more likely than men to take insulin, alone or in combination with oral hypoglycaemic drugs, to be under anti-hypertensive treatment, whereas the use of lipid lowering drugs was similar in men and women.


Control of hyperglycaemia and major CVD risk factors is less satisfactory in women than men. The gender disparities are not fully explained by the higher prevalence of total and central obesity in women; or by a less intensive medical management in women.

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