A team of researchers recently reported in Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice that the gender-specific risk of women with diabetes mellitus (DM) also suffering from VTE is 1.52 times higher than for women without DM. The same concomitant risk for men, they noted, is only 1.3 times higher.

According to coauthor Elma Dervic, from the Complexity Science Hub, “Our analyses show for the first time that diabetes mellitus might be associated with venous thromboembolism (VTE) to a greater extent in women than in men.” She explained that the research team had combed through millions of records of inpatients in Austria from over a decade to determine if there was a gender-based risk differential, adding, “With around 45 million data records, it covers all inpatient stays in Austria between 2003 and 2014.”

The cohort consisted of 180,034 patients diagnosed with DM; 70,739 of the patients were female and the remainder were male. The risk of developing VTE was reported to be 1.4 times higher for patients diagnosed with DM compared with controls (95% CI; 1.36-1.43, P <.001). The association of DM with newly diagnosed VTE was significantly greater in females (odds ratio [OR] = 1.52; 95% CI, 1.46-1.58, P <.001), which translates into a relative risk increase of 1.17 (95% CI, 1.11-1.23) across all age groups with a peak of 1.65 (95% CI, 1.43-1.89) between age 50 and 59 years. The researchers also added that the prescribed use of dipeptidyl peptidase 4-inhibitors were associated with a higher risk for VTE in female patients who were diagnosed with DM (OR = 2.3; 95% CI, 1.3-4.3, P = .0096).

According to first author Carola Deischinger from the Medical University of Vienna, “After the age of 40 [years] in particular, the relative risk of VTE increases.” She noted that this risk effect peaks in women aged between 50 and 59 years, leading to the statistical risk being 1.65 times higher.

The authors emphasized the importance of their work, with over 8% of the worldwide population diagnosed with this chronic disease leading to both micro- and macrovascular complications that includes VTE, among other cardiovascular diseases. They further wrote that acute hyperglycemia had been associated with poor clinical outcomes of thrombotic events. “Typically, the risk of developing VTE is about the same in both sexes,” explained Ms. Deischinger.

The authors concluded that for patients with diabetes, females appear to have a higher relative risk increase of VTE than males, especially during perimenopause. Additionally, to further underscore their findings, author Alexandra Kautzky-Willer from the Medical University of Vienna explained, “Our findings suggest that women with diabetes mellitus should be monitored more carefully for the development of VTE, especially during their perimenopause. It was suggested that more intensive treatment for all VTE risk factors be considered at an even younger age and prior to menopause.”

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