Men with type 2 diabetes are more likely to suffer cardiovascular complications than women

Type 2 diabetes is known to increase an individual's risk of developing cardiovascular complications, but a new study from a group of Yale University researchers shows that men are at significantly greater risk than women.

The team reported at the International Conference of Non-Invasive Cardiovascular Imaging that women were less than half as likely as men to suffer a nonfatal myocardial infarction, or heart attack.

To arrive at these results, the researchers examined the finding of the Detection of Ischemia in Asymptomatic Diabetics (DIAD) study, which was originally published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. This trial involved assessing the heart health of 1,123 individuals with type 2 diabetes.

The results showed that while just 1.7 percent of women suffered a heart attack during the study period, 3.8 percent of the men did.

The original DIAD study sought to determine if adenosine myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) was effective at assessing heart attack risk. While the investigation showed disappointing results in this regard, Suman Tandon, MD, the Yale University researcher who led the current study, said that his reevaluation of the data showed that MPI may have some benefit for men, given their higher rates of heart attack.

He concluded that regular MPI screening is not recommended for women with type 2 diabetes due to their relatively low rate of heart attack. However, the procedure may help men who are at the highest risk of suffering a myocardial infarction.

The findings could have important implications for millions of people with type 2 diabetes. Heart disease and high blood pressure are two of the most common complications of the condition and are seen in 68 and 67 percent of diabetics, respectively, according to the American Diabetes Association. Both are considered two of the leading risk factors for heart attacks.