research, diabetes, type 1, women

Type 1 Diabetes May Be More Lethal For Women

The Research

In an analysis of 26 different studies including more than 200,000 people, the researchers concluded that women with type 1 diabetes had a 37 percent higher risk of death by stroke compared to men who also had type 1 diabetes. The researchers also found that women with type 1 diabetes had a 44 percent higher risk of dying from kidney disease than men with type 1 diabetes.

Background

Type 1 diabetes an auto-immune disease that destroys insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. Insulin is basically a hormone needed to convert sugars into energy. People with type 1 diabetes don’t produce insulin, so they must replace the hormone through multiple daily injections.
Women may have a harder time controlling blood sugar levels. This is due to a number of factors, such as rapidly changing hormone levels, usually during puberty, that can affect the body’s sensitivity to insulin. This in turn can cause fluctuations in blood sugar levels, according to lead researcher Rachel Huxley and her co-authors. These researchers also speculated that high levels of blood sugar may cause significantly more damage to women’s blood vessels than to that of men’s.

Responses

Huxley responded to these results by saying “The findings suggest that young girls and women with type 1 diabetes may need additional monitoring, not only to ensure that they are keeping their blood sugar levels under control, but also to make sure that their levels for other major risk factors, such as blood pressure, are also closely monitored.” Dr. David Simmons, a professor of medicine at the University of Western Sydney in Penrith, Australia, said, “Among people without diabetes, women live longer than men. This advantage is being lost among women with type 1 diabetes. Both women and men with type 1 diabetes are dying much younger than they should.” These findings bring to light a frightening truth about the nature of type 1 diabetes.

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