Sex-specific-differences in cardiovascular risk in type-1-diabetes: a cross sectional study

Alexandra Kautzky-Willer, Kathrin Stich, Juliane Hinstersteiner, Alexander Kautzky, Majid Reza Kamyar, Johannes Saukel, Julienne Johnson, Rosa Lemmens-Gruber

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Background: Little is known about the impact of sex-specific differences in the management of type 1 diabetes (T1DM). Thus, we evaluated the influence of gender on risk factors, complications, clinical care and adherence in patients with T1DM.
Methods: In a cross-sectional study, sex-specific disparities in glycaemic control, cardiovascular risk factors, diabetic complications, concomitant medication use and adherence to treatment recommendations were evaluated in 225 consecutive patients (45.3% women) who were comparable with respect to age, diabetes duration, and body mass index.
Results: Although women with T1DM had a higher total cholesterol than men, triglycerides were higher in obese men and males with HbA1c>7% than in their female counterparts. No sex differences were observed in glycaemic control and in micro- or macrovascular complications. However, the subgroup analysis showed that nephropathy was more common in obese men, hyperlipidaemic women and all hypertensive patients, whereas peripheral neuropathy was more common in hyperlipidaemic women. Retinopathy was found more frequently in women with HbA1c>7%, obese men and in both sexes with a long duration of diabetes. The multivariate analysis revealed that microvascular complications were associated with the duration of disease and BMI in both sexes and with hyperlipidaemia in males. The overall adherence to interventions according to the guidelines was higher in men than in women. This adherence was concerned particularly with co-medication in patients diagnosed with hypertension, aspirin prescription in elderly patients and the achievement of target lipid levels following the prescription of statins.
Conclusions: Our data showed sex differences in lipids and overweight in patients with T1DM. Although glycaemic control and the frequency of diabetic complications were comparable between the sexes, the overall adherence to guidelines, particularly with respect to the prescription of statins and aspirin, was lower in women than in men.
Original languageEnglish
Article number12:78
Number of pages34
JournalCardiovascular Diabetology
Issue numberMay
Publication statusPublished - 24 May 2013


  • Type 1 diabetes mellitus
  • diabetic complications
  • cardiovascular risk
  • blood pressure
  • lipid profile


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