Scientists Suggest Gender-Based Therapy For Diabetics: Women Less Likely To Stick To Treatment Than Men, Have Higher Heart Disease Risk

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Apparently, men and women approach self-care and medical treatment in different ways, depending on their disorders.

That seems to be the case with diabetes: research has shown that women with Type 2 diabetes are less likely than males to follow through on treatment goals, such as lowering their bad cholesterol or low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. Overall, women have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease related to diabetes than men do, due to lower adherence to meeting treatment goals. Researchers are thus considering develop a form of “gender-based” therapy that could better aim treatment at both women and men.

“The findings suggest the need for gender-based evaluation and treatment of cardiovascular risk factors in these patients,” study author Dr. Pendar Farahani of the Department of Medicine and Department of Public Health Sciences at Queen’s University, said in a press release.

Researchers found that only 64 percent of women were able to lower their LDL cholesterol, compared to 81 percent of men. Women were also less likely to stick to statin medication — possibly due to the medicine’s different effect on the female body, which can lead to adverse side effects that are worse for women than men. “The finding that women were not able to lower their so-called bad cholesterol sufficiently is a concern,” Farahani continued. “Women with diabetes have a considerably higher rate of cardiovascular-related illness and death than men with diabetes. This pattern is likely related to poorer control of cardiovascular risk factors.”

There hasn’t been much research on the notion of gender-based therapy options for diabetics. Currently, research is still needed to better understand why women respond differently to diabetes treatment than men.

According to the American Heart Association, heart disease and stroke are the leading causes of death for diabetics. About 65 percent of diabetes patients die from one of these conditions, as they’re four times more likely to have heart disease or a stroke than people who don’t have diabetes. Researchers hope to better examine how different treatment options affect males and females, and develop a form of therapy that can lower cholesterol more effectively.

 

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