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This study, published in Diabetes Care, provides an analysis of sex disparities in cardiovascular health among participants with diabetes. Specifically, the authors analyzed the results of cardiovascular outcome trials. The data were obtained from random placebo-controlled studies investigating the relationship between various diabetes medications and cardiovascular health. All participants had type 2 diabetes. 

Five cardiovascular outcome trials were analyzed in this study. A total of 46,606 participants were included across the studies. Sex-specific data were summarized using mean differences and relative risks. Estimates were pooled using random-effects meta-analysis. 

Overall, the results show significantly worse outcomes for women. However, the results are inconclusive, as there were significantly fewer women than men. The trial’s percentage of female participants ranged from 28.5–35.8%. Female participants in the studies surveyed were more likely to have a stroke, heart failure, and chronic kidney disease. They had higher diastolic blood pressure, LDL cholesterol levels, and hemoglobin A1c

The authors concluded that the small number of studies makes generalizations difficult, and subgroup analysis could not be performed. They claim that the study is not generalizable to other cardiovascular risk groups. Finally, they note that encouraging more women to participate in such studies could greatly improve the available data, and allow for more robust predictions [1].


[1] Clemens, K. K., Woodward, M., Neal, B., & Zinman, B. (2020). Sex Disparities in Cardiovascular Outcome Trials of Populations With Diabetes: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Diabetes Care, 43(5), 1157–1163. https://doi.org/10.2337/dc19-2257

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