World Diabetes Day on 14th November: How the disease impacts men and women differently

The disease, symptoms and care may all be the same for both, men and women. However, the way body gets affected are different for both. On World Diabetes Day, let's know these differences.

World Diabetes Day is observed globally every year on 14 November in order to generate awareness regarding the lifestyle disease. It was founded by International Diabetes Federation and World Health Organisation in 1991 as a response to sudden spurt in the number of diabetes cases. Now it's led by International Diabetes Federation and organisation from over 160 countries are part of it apart from celebrities, healthcare professional, politicians and general public. World Diabetes Day is celebrated with a specific theme each year; family and diabetes is the theme for 2019.

As we celebrate the awareness and information regarding the disease in a matter three days, let's look at how its impact varies for each gender. Though the symptoms may be the same for both, the impact can be different.

Impact of diabetes on men and women

It's true that there are more number of men with diabetes, but women have tough time with diabetes. If we go facts, studies suggest that men with diabetes live for 7.5 years lesser than those who don't have diabetes. This gap is even greater than 8.2 years in women. Though, women live longer than men as the rate of heart ailments in them are lesser. But women with diabetes have worse case. The heart disease risk in diabetic women increases by almost six times. It could be because they have more issues like obesity, lesser blood sugar control and high blood pressure as compared to men.

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Kidney disease risk is also greater in women with diabetes than men with diabetes. Experts say that if the diabetes factor is taken away, kidney diseases impact more men than women. However, with diabetes this scenario changes completely. While kidney diseases affect women post menopause, but with diabetes it may happen at anytime irrespective of their age.

The scenario also stands true in case of depression. More and more women with diabetes are reported with depression as compared to diabetic men. In fact, experts say that it's almost twice as worst in women than in med with the disease. In one of the studies published in the journal Public Health, it was even found that depression and diabetes are linked with only women, not with men.

Conclusion: Why do these differences exist?

Yes, the disease does impact both the genders differently but what could be the possible reason? It's because the bodies of men and women are different. Experts also believe that the healthcare practitioners who treat patients for diabetes look at men and women differently.

While we talk about diabetes care, it's has also been seen that women deprioritise health as compared to men. However, those who get onto a care plan, are more proactive in following the doctor's instructions. "We have seen some interesting trends emerge from patient behaviour. Even though, the percentage of women is far less than that of the men, women on the care program are far more compliant than their male counterparts. They attend their counselling calls, follow their diets and are always ready with their parameters to be discussed in their scheduled calls," says Meena Ganesh, Managing Director and CEO, Portea Medical, in a press release.

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