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Men Face Higher Risk of Diabetes Than Women, Study Finds

Men with diabetes face a higher risk of major health complications compared to diabetic women, according to a recent study. Conducted by researchers from The University of Sydney, Australia, the study found that men are more likely to develop severe issues such as cardiovascular diseases, kidney problems, and leg/foot conditions. This trend persists regardless of the duration of their diabetes.

The research involved 25,713 participants aged 45 and above, with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Over a span of ten years, these individuals were monitored for health complications related to diabetes through surveys linked to their medical records. The findings, published in the ‘Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health’, revealed significant gender disparities in health outcomes.

Cardiovascular complications were observed in 44 per cent of the men, compared to 31 per cent of the women. Similarly, 35 per cent of men developed kidney conditions, while only 25 per cent of women did. Leg and foot issues, such as ulcers and bone inflammation, were reported by 25 per cent of men versus 18 per cent of women.

Overall, diabetic men were found to be 51 per cent more likely to suffer from heart problems than diabetic women. Additionally, men had a 55 per cent higher risk of kidney complications and a 47 per cent higher risk of leg and foot issues. These findings highlight the greater vulnerability of men to diabetes-related health problems.

Interestingly, the study found little difference between men and women regarding the risk of developing eye complications. However, men still had a 14 per cent higher risk of diabetic retinopathy, a sight-threatening eye disease. Despite these differences, eye complications were prevalent among both sexes, with 57 per cent of men and 61 per cent of women affected.

The researchers suggested that these disparities might be due to men having more common risk factors and being less likely to adopt lifestyle changes or take preventive measures. Men may also be less proactive in seeking health checks and taking medications to lower their risks.

The study was observational, which means it could not establish causality. Additionally, it lacked detailed information on influential factors such as specific diabetes medications and patients’ glucose and blood pressure levels. Despite these limitations, the findings underline the urgent need for targeted screening and prevention strategies for both men and women following a diabetes diagnosis.

The authors emphasized that although men with diabetes are at a higher risk of developing complications, the rates are concerningly high for both genders. This research underscores the importance of early detection and proactive management of diabetes to mitigate these severe health outcomes.

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