A new study at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston has assessed the risk of men with diabetes developing heart disease. This study observed 64,000 patients from the REACH program. The researchers found that men with diabetes were at significantly greater risk of developing cardiovascular problems than women with the disease. The study also found that the treatment procedures used was instrumental in the outlook for the disease.
[box type="note"]The link between diabetes and cardiovascular disease has been observed for a while. According to the American Heart Association, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death among people suffering from type 2 diabetes. At least 65% of people with type 2 diabetes die from heart complications. Only about 20% of the general population dies from cardiovascular diseases.[/box]
Although the correlation between type 2 diabetes and heart disease has been studied for the past few decades, not as much emphasis has been placed on the role gender plays in the equation. The research should give some new perspective on the best forms of treatment for their male patients suffering from type 2 diabetes. According to Jacob Udell, the head of Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s cardiovascular department and the lead author of the study, this study shows that health care professionals should take much more aggressive treatment procedures for their patients.
The study found that men treating their diabetes with insulin had a 16% chance of developing heart problems within a four-year time frame. Also, men with diabetes taking insulin were 70% more likely to experience a first heart attack respective to a man with known cardiovascular disease suffering a second heart attack. Additional research will need to be conducted to determine how much of a risk factor insulin creates for the cardiovascular health of patients suffering from diabetes.
However, the most important finding of the study was the fact that the study found the risk of men with diabetes experiencing a heart attack was 40% greater than women. This means that medical professionals may need to implement different treatments for their male patients.
Additional research will likely need to be conducted to determine the correlation between diabetes and heart disease. Future studies will determine whether or not diabetes plays a greater role in the increased heart disease among men or if the factor is due solely to the fact that men have a higher likelihood of developing heart disease to begin.