(NaturalNews) It's been known for a long while that having type 2 diabetes increases the risk of heart disease, but now a study published in Diabetologia shows that women have a 44 percent higher risk than men of experiencing both fatal and non-fatal cardiac events (1). In the study, over 858,000 men and women were assessed worldwide, and adjustments for factors such as smoking, body mass index (BMI), cardiovascular health and blood pressure were made. Yet, when diabetes alone was singled out, the finding was discovered.
Lead author of the study Sanne A. E. Peters, explains that the reasons why women with type 2 diabetes were found to be at an increased risk for developing heart-related conditions is not what many may think. Rather than being a matter of physiological differences between the genders or variations in treatment, Peters says that it's likely due to the fact that a woman has a worse metabolic profile than a man (2) and that her body tends to deteriorate more severely prior to the onset of diabetes (1).
"It may be that women have to gain much more weight than men before they become diabetic," she said. "So they may already be at higher risk for coronary heart disease at diagnosis, although there is no proof that this is true (1)."
The link between weight, diabetes and heart problems
Still, it's clear that carrying excess weight is a key factor in developing diabetes as well as being at an increased risk for heart disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the United States, and factors that contribute to the health problem include poor diet, being overweight or obese and having diabetes (3).
Choosing a healthier diet, getting regular exercise, limiting stress and alcohol use and not smoking can all manage weight, which plays a role in elevated health risks including heart disease and diabetes.
Christine Tobin, a certified diabetes educator and president of Healthcare and Education for the American Diabetes Association, says the best foods to help control blood sugar levels while also fighting off hunger pangs include beans, citrus fruits and dark leafy greens such as kale and spinach, to name a few (4).
About the author: A science enthusiast with a keen interest in health nutrition, Antonia has been intensely researching various dieting routines for several years now, weighing their highs and their lows, to bring readers the most interesting info and news in the field. While she is very excited about a high raw diet, she likes to keep a fair and balanced approach towards non-raw methods of food preparation as well.