Objective: To examine sex-specific associations between cardiovascular risk factors, a parental history of diabetes, and type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM).
Methods: The study is based on 3052 men and 3114 women (aged 35 to 74 years) who participated in one of the 3 MONICA (Monitoring of Trends and Determinants in Cardiovascular Disease) Augsburg surveys between 1984 and 1995, who were free of DM at baseline and returned a follow-up questionnaire in 1998. Sex-specific hazard ratios (HRs) were estimated from Cox proportional hazard models.
Results: A total of 128 cases of incident DM among men and 85 cases among women were registered during the follow-up period. The age-standardized incidence rate was 5.8 per 1000 person-years for men and 4.0 per 1000 person-years for women. In multivariable survival analyses, age, body mass index, and a positive parental history of diabetes were important independent risk factors for DM in both sexes. High-density lipoprotein cholesterol level was inversely associated with DM in men and women. For other risk factors, sex-related differences were observed. Systolic blood pressure (HR per 10 mm Hg increase, 1.16), regular smoking (HR, 1.75), and high daily alcohol intake (HR, 1.95) predicted the development of DM in men only, whereas uric acid (HR per 1 mmol/L increase, 2.05) and physical inactivity during leisure time (HR, 1.80) were associated with diabetes development in women only.
Conclusions: In men and women, most variables predicting future diabetes in the present study are also known to be important risk factors for cardiovascular disease and arteriosclerosis. However, there are sex-related dissimilarities that seem to be involved in disease development.