3. Structured Personal Diabetes Care Reduced Mortality Rates in only Women

Type 2 diabetes is associated with significant morbidity and mortality because of its complications, including cardiovascular disease and renal dysfunction. However, sex-related differences in lifestyle may lead to differences in the risk of developing diabetes complications since the bodies of men and women are of course not the same.

A follow-up study revealed personally tailored diabetes care in general practice could reduce all-cause mortality and diabetes-related death in women, but not in men. This study was published in the Journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD).

This study was conducted by Dr. Marlene Krag of the University of Copenhagen in the research unit for general practice. Researchers recruited 1,381 patients who were newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, and participants were randomized to receive six years of either structured personal care or routine care.

After six years, 970 patients survived and were included in the analysis, about half of them were women. The results showed women in the structured personal care group were 26 percent less likely to die of any cause and 30% less likely to die of a diabetes-related cause, compared with women given routine care. In addition, women given the personal care intervention were also 41 percent less likely to suffer a stroke, and 35 percent less likely to have any diabetes-related endpoint. Surprisingly, those findings also were observed in women, but not in men.

While discussing the cause of gender difference in the management of type 2 diabetes, Dr. Krag added, “women accept disease and implement disease management more easily, which might affect long-term outcomes.” The study also mentioned the structured approach might conflict with men’s tendency to trust self-directed learning instead of self-management.

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