Diabetes can often be hard on women making them four times more prone to cardiovascular diseases. They are two to four times more at risk of stroke or death at a younger age from cardiovascular diseases than women with no diabetes. Their risk factors are more common and can be different and more severe than men with diabetes. The rate of mortality of women from CVD or heart attack is higher than men. Women are more at risk of stroke and associated complications compared to men and diabetes is often the underlying cause of most heart diseases.
Cardiovascular risks can be classified into modifiable risks and non-modifiable risks. The majority of heart diseases are caused by modifiable risk factors such as smoking, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, hormone changes, physical inactivity, obesity, unhealthy diet, depression, and stress. The risk for heart diseases increases with age, menopause, and family history, these being the non-modifiable factors.
Certain risk factors in women are unique such as being on birth control pills and menopause. Women on birth control pills are at risk of weight gain and hormonal imbalance which can affect their diabetes. Oestrogen plays a significant role in preventing heart diseases in women. In postmenopausal women, diabetes along with inadequate oestrogen can be a major heart risk. Almost all of the above risk factors can directly affect diabetes and aggravate any heart condition.
In women, especially homemakers, high blood pressures and physical inactivity makes them more prone to diabetes and its complications. Treating diabetes in women involves treating the various conditions associated with it. As most women with diabetes are overweight or obese, treatment is focused on managing diet, weight and exercise. Reducing the amount of salt, sugar, and fat in the diet along with a proper exercise regimen can help most women bring their blood pressure, sugar, and cholesterol levels under control.