Diabetic women at high risk of suffering a stroke: Expert

Women with diabetes are twice at the risk of suffering a stroke as those without the disease, an Austrian expert has said.

Vienna: Women with diabetes are twice at the risk of suffering a stroke as those without the disease, an Austrian expert has said.

Recent studies have shown that women with diabetes are three times more likely to have a stroke than men who have it, Alexandra Kautzky-Willer from the Medical University of Vienna and the Vienna General Hospital said here Thursday ahead of World Diabetes Day Friday.

The reason for the increased risk is the disturbed blood sugar regulation, Kautzky-Willer said.

"The vascular function and blood coagulation are particularly unfavourable changes, which lead to women having a higher risk for the formation of thromboses."

She said the higher blood sugar levels are not the only problem. Hypertension, inflammations, and various lifestyle factors such as depression also play a role, meaning not only diabetes therapy should be sought, Xinhua reported.

"It is about a general lifestyle intervention and treatment of all risk factors," she said, adding increased exercise is important, as although women generally eat healthier than men with less fat and red meat in their diets, they also engage in less activity.

Lifestyle changes implemented earlier on can also prevent gestational diabetes, a risk factor for type 2 diabetes later in life, and also cardiovascular disease, the expert said. 

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