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Diabetologia. 2013 Jan;56(1):1-9. doi: 10.1007/s00125-012-2694-y. Epub 2012 Sep 4.

Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease in women.

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Cardiology Unit, Department of Medicine, N3:06, Karolinska University Hospital, Solna, SE-171 76 Stockholm, Sweden.


Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in both men and women. This is also true for patients with diabetes. In general, differences between the sexes are present in several areas, such as epidemiology, pathophysiology, diagnostics, treatment response and prognosis, as well as the way in which disease is experienced and expressed. Cardiovascular disease presents later in life in women, who are therefore more likely to suffer from comorbidities. However, this age-related difference is attenuated in women with diabetes, who suffer their first myocardial infarction at about the same age as men with diabetes. Diabetes mellitus increases the risk of cardiovascular disease by three to four times in women and two to three times in men, after adjusting for other risk factors. This paper describes the differences in cardiovascular disease in men and women and the special situation of women with type 2 diabetes when it comes to risk factors, symptoms and the setting of acute coronary syndromes. Furthermore, it highlights the importance of sex-specific analyses in clinical research to improve our knowledge of cardiovascular disease in women in general and in women with diabetes in particular. The importance of taking sex into account when treating women and men at risk of cardiovascular disease is discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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