Association between diabetes, stroke found in women but not men, study shows

Differences in incidence and mortality between sexes have been reported for various conditions, including stroke. More women than men tend to die from stroke in developed countries. For example, in the USA, 77,109 women and 52,367 men died from stroke in 2010. Women accounted for almost 60% of US stroke deaths in 2010. In the UK, 32,828 women and 20,358 men died from stroke in 2007.

The authors prospectively investigated the sex-specific association of different levels of HbA1c with incident stroke risk among 10,876 male and 19,278 female patients with type 2 diabetes in the Louisiana State University Hospital-Based Longitudinal Study (LSUHLS). During a mean follow up of 6.7 years, 2,949 incident cases of stroke were identified. The authors calculated the risk of stroke associated with different levels of HbA1c at baseline (<6.0%, 6.0 .9% [reference group, considered normal blood sugar control], 7.0 .9%, 8.0 .9%, 9.0 .9%, and ≥10.0%). Among men, although there was a trend towards increased risk of stroke as HbA1c increased, this increased risk was not statistically significant. Among women, however, those with HbA1c of 8.0 .9% were 19% more likely to have a stroke than the normal blood sugar reference group women; those with 9.0 .9% HbA1c were 32% more likely to have a stroke, and those above 10% HbA1c were 42% more likely to have a stroke, with each of these associations statistically significant.

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