Diabetes Death Rates Drop, But Not For Women

One of 20,000 people who were followed from the seventies through the nineties.

| Jul 18, 2007

Apparently death doesn't have a glass ceiling. After examining data from 20,000 people who were followed from the seventies through the nineties as part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys, researchers have found that diabetic men are dying less, but diabetic women aren't.

In the 29 years between 1971 and 2000, the overall death rate for men with diabetes dropped from 43 to 25 deaths per 1000 people, while diabetic men's death from cardiovascular disease dropped from 26 to 13 men per thousand. The death rates of non-diabetic men and non-diabetic women also dropped to a similar degree. For diabetic women, however, the death rate dropped by a big zero percent. In fact, death from cardiac disease increased by 23% in diabetic women.

An editorial that accompanied the study stated that lower rates of treating cardiovascular risk factors and heart disease in women may have contributed to the disparate death rates. Why women received less care wasn't addressed. If you are a woman with diabetes, however, this study should bolster your gumption to push for state-of-the-art care when you visit your doctor.

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Sources: EurekAlert; Annals of Internal Medicine

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