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Diabetes May Be Worse for Women

Content provided by: Better Medicine from Healthgrades

Between men and women, diabetes doesn't always play fair. Both sexes are just as likely to develop the disease. But science shows that women may fare worse once they have it, particularly in terms of heart health.

Diabetes and the heart

In the journal Diabetes Care, researchers reviewed 10 years' worth of health records for nearly 74,000 people. Some had diabetes, and others did not. Their results showed the differences diabetes poses for men and women. Overall, women with diabetes were more likely to die earlier than men with the disease. They also suffered more heart-related problems and were more likely to need hospitalization for them.

Heart disease is a serious complication of diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association, it's the leading cause of death for women with diabetes. That may be because women are often diagnosed with diabetes later in life. They may also have other conditions that have already damaged their hearts, including high cholesterol and excess body fat.

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Indications and Usage for Lantus® (insulin glargine [rDNA origin] injection)

Prescription Lantus® is a long-acting insulin used to treat adults with type 2 diabetes and adults and children (6 years and older) with type 1 diabetes for the control of high blood sugar. It should be taken once a day at the same time each day to lower blood glucose.

Do not use Lantus® to treat diabetic ketoacidosis.

Important Safety Information for Lantus® (insulin glargine [rDNA origin] injection)

Do not take Lantus® if you are allergic to insulin or any of the inactive ingredients in Lantus®.

You must test your blood sugar levels while using insulin, such as Lantus®. Do not make any changes to your dose or type of insulin without talking to your healthcare provider. Any change of insulin should be made cautiously and only under medical supervision.

Do NOT dilute or mix Lantus® with any other insulin or solution. It will not work as intended and you may lose blood sugar control, which could be serious. Lantus® must only be used if the solution is clear and colorless with no particles visible. Do not share needles, insulin pens or syringes with others.

The most common side effect of insulin, including Lantus®, is low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), which may be serious. Some people may experience symptoms such as shaking, sweating, fast heartbeat, and blurred vision. Severe hypoglycemia may be serious and life threatening. It may cause harm to your heart or brain. Other possible side effects may include injection site reactions, including changes in fat tissue at the injection site, and allergic reactions, including itching and rash. In rare cases, some allergic reactions may be life threatening.

Tell your doctor about other medicines and supplements you are taking because they can change the way insulin works. Before starting Lantus®, tell your doctor about all your medical conditions including if you have liver or kidney problems, are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding or planning to breast-feed.

Lantus® SoloSTAR® is a disposable prefilled insulin pen. Please talk to your healthcare provider about proper injection technique and follow instructions in the Instruction Leaflet that accompanies the pen.

Please click here or the link below for the full prescribing information for Lantus®

US.GLA.13.04.229 © 2014 sanofi-aventis U.S. LLC, A SANOFI COMPANY

Women who have diabetes may not always receive treatment for heart-related problems. That's the conclusion of one past study of more than 4,800 people with the disease-nearly half of whom were women. Female participants tended to have higher cholesterol levels, compared with men. But their blood fat levels weren't checked as often. Plus, women were less likely to be on a statin-a drug that lowers cholesterol.

Beyond the heart

The risk for heart disease isn't the only difference between men and women with diabetes. Hormones-particularly estrogen and progesterone-can play a role in managing the disease. Fluctuating hormone levels in a woman's body can throw off blood sugar levels. As a result, some women may find it harder to control their diabetes the week before and during their period.

Menopause has a similar effect. As a woman grows older, her body produces less estrogen and progesterone. This drop in hormones may cause unstable blood sugar levels. In turn, that can worsen symptoms of menopause. Women with diabetes may suffer more bouts of mood swings, hot flashes, sleep problems, and fatigue.

Women with diabetes must take special care if they become pregnant, too. As with menopause, hormone levels can change constantly during pregnancy. Blood sugar levels can spike and crash much more often. To help protect the baby from health problems and an early birth, pregnant women need to keep blood sugar levels in a healthy range.

Hormones aside, diabetes may harm women more than men in other ways. Women with the disease are prone to urinary problems and recurrent yeast infections. Diabetes may also affect the brain. A small study compared the brains of men and women with diabetes. Brain scans showed that women suffered more changes in the area of the brain that manages memory and mood.

Always talk with your health care provider to find out more information.

Medical Reviewer: Foster, Sara, RN, MPH Last Annual Review Date: July 15, 2013
© 2000-2014 Krames StayWell, 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.

Reference: Diabetes section on Better Medicine

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