Diabetes mellitus is increasingly prevalent among women: causes and consequences

Until a few years ago, when we talked about it Type 2 diabetes, which appears in adults and is closely associated with weight gain, poor physical activity and metabolic problems, the thought immediately went to males. Now, as it happens with cardiovascular disease, we are talking about one Rapid growth of pathology in women. the reason? Practically they got to men.

In fact, the proportion of women diagnosed with diabetes in 2020 reached that of men, reaching 5.9 percent, in line with the national average. with other criticality. Despite this increase, women forgo health services more often, even in the presence of diabetes and other chronic diseases, or 22.7 percent versus 17.2 percent of men. To indicate this fact, there is the Italian Diabetes Scale report data.

What is happening?

In short, this trend leads to talk about diabetes as one of the diseases that should be reduced in women. This trend can be explained by a number of reasons, among which the greater women’s longevity certainly plays an important role, so much so that the age-adjusted rate means that the prevalence among women is lower, i.e. 4.7 percent. compared to 5.5 percent. among men. But this is not enough.

As Roberta Crialesi, Director of the Integrated System of Health, Care, Welfare and Justice at Istat states, “In addition to increasing longevity, socioeconomic inequality has a greater impact on women; given educational qualification, for example, in the 45-64 age group there was a prevalence Three times higher among women with lower education, 5.8 percent versus 1.8 percent among the most educated.In men the difference is always noticeable, but is more contained, i.e. goes from 7.4 percent to 4.3 percent.

The same for income: In women over the age of 45, the percentage of low-income people with diabetes is 11 percent versus 6.4 percent among those with high incomes.” In short. We should think not only of purely health aspects, when thinking of diabetes, but also of Social aspects There is a risk that real gender inequality arises in both the speed of diagnosis, the management of the disease and the prevention of complications.

“These data point to the importance of social disparities due to the emergence of chronic diseases such as diabetes, with those most affected being those living in the most disadvantaged socioeconomic conditions and often women – comments Paolo Spracchia, Vice President of the IBDO Foundation. Education is often associated with Low and low income leads to unhealthy lifestyles, such as poor eating habits, sedentary lifestyle, inadequate use of primary and secondary prevention, increased risk of obesity and the onset of metabolic diseases.Moreover, these conditions may reduce access to quality health services and services or It causes a delay in accessing services due to long queues.”

Correct treatments to reduce risks

Diabetes works silently. But Over time, it harms the body, which could lead to very serious complications. These complications are further subdivided into high-level complications affecting mainly small blood vessels (microangiopathy) such as those of the retina (retinopathy), those of the kidneys (nephropathy), peripheral nerves (neuropathy) and others that affect arterial blood vessels with Larger diameter of the heart, extremities and brain (macroangiopathy).

The literature data have been combined to indicate how diabetes occurs Reducing life expectancy by 5-10 years It interferes with its quality due to the appearance of vascular complications. Not only. A person with diabetes costs their health system two to three times as much as a person without diabetes.

Most of the costs are from treating complications (kidney failure, retinopathy, heart attack, gangrene and lower limb amputations) while only a small amount is used to manage the underlying disease and seek compensation for blood sugar (blood sugar), lipids and hypertension). Achieving good glycemic compensation, controlling lipid changes and hypertension allows to significantly reduce the incidence of complications.

Unfortunately, according to the results of the analysis, it is also women who often abandon health services, especially if they suffer from diabetes and other chronic diseases. Access difficulties are generally defined by different types of problems, ranging from economic issues to logistical issues, such as difficulty accessing places where service is provided or long queues.

“It is clear that the causes associated with Covid-19 have also been a reason for the abandonment of health services in recent years, and in this case also in women more than men – notes Simona Frontoni, Chair of the Scientific Committee of the IBDO Foundation. While it is true that women live longer than men, it is also true that they spend fewer years in good health. For example, disparities in wages or pensions put older women in particular at risk of poverty and social exclusion, factors that create obstacles to accessing care.”

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