Diabetes affects millions of people across the globe and the number of people affected by the disease is on the rise, especially in middle- and low-income countries. According to the World Health Organization, the number of people with diabetes has risen from 108 million in 1980 to 422 million in 2014. In 2016, an estimated 1.6 million deaths were directly caused by diabetes.
In a recent study published in Diabetologia, or the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes, researchers took a deeper look at the risk of heart failure and its correlation to those who suffer from diabetes among different genders.
Woman Are at a Much Higher Risk
The global study conducted by The George Institute for Global Health looked at 12 million people finding that diabetes increases the risk of heart failure. Even more so, the risk has been found out to be even higher in women. The study itself is part of a much bigger study on how the condition of diabetes potentially contributes to or exasperates heart disease.
In the study, researchers also found that the type of diabetes is also correlated with the greater risk of heart disease. Woman with type 1 disease have 47% excess risk of heart failure compared to men, whilst woman with type 2 diabetes have a 9% higher excess risk of heart failure than men.
According to the report and the cited International Diabetes Federation, 199 million women suffer from diabetes across the world, claiming the lives of 2.1 million women every year Even more so, this number is expected to jump to 313 million women by the year 2040.
As stated by Dr. Toshiaki Ohkuma from The George Institute, "The increased risk of heart failure following a diabetes diagnosis is significantly greater in women than men which highlights the importance of intensive prevention and treatment of diabetes in women."
"Further research is required to understand the mechanisms underpinning the excess risk of heart failure conferred by diabetes [particularly type 1] in women and to reduce the burden associated with diabetes in both sexes."
A Health Crisis
The prevalence of diabetes is growing so quickly among both genders that Diabetes Australia considers it a major health crisis of the 21st century. Diabetes can also become the precursor to a lot of other long term fatal diseases.
Diabetes is one of the leading causes of cardiovascular disease, blindness, kidney failure, and lower-limb amputation. The condition has been even said to cause complications during pregnancy. Understanding how diabetes affects the body and the factors that have led to the epidemic is a major priority in the medical community.