Heart Attacks in Diabetic Women More Likely to Be Fatal

By Laura Brooks
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Women with type 1 or type 2 diabetes under the age of 65 are at a higher risk than their male counterparts for worse outcomes after heart attacks.

“The female advantage with fewer cardiovascular events than in men at
younger ages is attenuated once a woman has the diagnosis of diabetes,”
report Dr. Anna Norhammar, Her team at Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm have found that the discrepancy is due to risk factors, and not treatment differences.

In the study, researchers followed roughly 25 thousand heart attack patients for about 4 and a half years. Just over 20 percent of the group were women with type 1 or type 2 diabetes; men accounted for 16 percent. The female diabetics, the study determined, has a 34 percent increased risk of mortality.

Prevention and Early Intervention Key

“The present observation makes further study of the impact of improved
risk factor management in this particular group of relatively young,
easily identifiable, high-risk patients important,” the researchers
conclude, “together with attempts to initiate treatment and cardiac
investigations before their first (heart attack) or the onset of heart
failure.”

Women seeking to manage their diabetes can take advantage of programs such as Green Mountain at Fox Run’s Living WellTM week (February 15-21, 2009), which is a community supported healthy lifestyle program, run jointly by Green Mountain and Joslin Diabetes Center. The special program couples Green Mountain at Fox Run’s  renowned weight loss program with diabetes management, which includes strategies for coping with stress, emotional issues as well as behavior modification.

For more information, read more about the Living Well diabetes management program online.

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