'Women with Type 2 diabetes are less likely than men to be prescribed statins, a study shows.
People who have Type 2 diabetes are 40 per cent more likely than those without the condition to die from a major cardiac event.
But statins used to prevent a heart attack or stroke are more readily given to men, as are blood pressure pills that reduce heart disease risk.
A study of more than 450,000 people in England found women with Type 2 diabetes were 16 per cent less likely than men to receive statins. They were 26 per cent less likely to be prescribed ACE inhibitors to lower their blood pressure.
This may be because heart disease is often seen as a 'male illness' which threatens men more than women.
But the latest evidence shows women with diabetes have a similar additional risk of heart disease and stroke to men.
Dr Martin Rutter of Manchester University, the senior author of the study, said: 'Heart disease is often seen as a male problem because men more often turn up at their doctor with chest pains, while women have more subtle symptoms like breathlessness which can be missed.
'This may be why doctors are less alert to the risk of cardiovascular disease in women, but the diabetes guidelines clearly show they should be offered the same medications.
'Further research is now needed to understand the reasons for these prescribing differences and to find ways to close the gap.'
People with Type 2 diabetes have a much greater risk of heart attack, stroke and other cardiovascular events because their high blood sugar damages important blood vessels leading to the heart.
But women with Type 2 diabetes are more likely to be obese, have high blood pressure and high cholesterol, all of which raise their risk. Yet they are missing out on vital drugs, despite generally seeing doctors more than men.'
Read more: 'Women are discriminated against over Statins' is just another scam to have more take them
Statin drug use nearly doubles your risk of diabetes, study claims
'The use of cholesterol-lowering statin drugs could double your risk of developing diabetes, suggests a study conducted by researchers from the VA North Texas Health System and the University of Texas Southwestern that was published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine on April 28.
Previous studies have shown a link between statin use and increased diabetes rates, but the new study is the first to show that statins seem to increase diabetes risk even in otherwise healthy people who are not predisposed to the disease.
"In our study, statin use was associated with a significantly higher risk of new-onset diabetes, even in a very healthy population," lead author Ishak Mansi said. "The risk of diabetes with statins has been known, but up until now it was thought that this might be due to the fact that people who were prescribed statins had greater medical risks to begin with."
Diabetes complications also more likely
The researchers examined the medical records of approximately 26,000 people who were enrolled in the military health system Tricare between October 2003 and March 2012. They used a particularly robust method of data analysis known as propensity score matching, in which 3,351 statin users were matched with an equal number of non-users who were very similar to them in 42 separate health and demographic variables. This is considered a particularly effective way of ruling out potential confounding factors.
The analysis showed that people taking statins had an 87 percent higher risk of developing diabetes. The diabetes that they developed was also more likely to be serious; statin users were 250 percent more likely to develop diabetes with complications than non-users.'
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