Gender differences in risk factor control and treatment profile in diabetes: a study in 229 swedish primary health care centres

Scand J Prim Health Care. 2004 Mar;22(1):27-31. doi: 10.1080/02813430310003264.


Objective: To measure the risk factors and treatment profile of diabetes patients treated in primary health care (PHC) in order to evaluate potential gender differences.

Design: Cross-sectional survey of consecutive diabetes patients.

Setting: 229 PHC centres in Sweden.

Subjects: 5082 men and 4293 women with diabetes were investigated (1998-2001).

Main outcome measures: Glycaemic control (HbA1c), blood pressure, lipid levels, prevalence of left ventricular hypertrophy and microalbuminuria. Proportions of patients with previous ischaemic heart disease (IHD) and specific drug treatment.

Results: Male patients generally had better blood pressure ( < 140 and/or 85 mmHg) and glycaemic (HbA1c < 6.5%) control than corresponding female patients (44% and 59%, versus 40% and 54% in the 60-75 year age group; p < 0.01). Females showed higher levels of total (p < 0.01) and HDL cholesterol (p < 0.05) than males in all age groups. No gender difference was detected for LDL cholesterol levels in the younger or elderly patients, but in the age group 60-75 years female patients had significantly higher mean LDL cholesterol level than male patients (3.3 vs 3.2 mmol/L; p < 0.05). Previously known manifestations of IHD were more common (p < 0.01) in male patients.

Conclusion: Elderly male patients with diabetes had a more favourable risk factor control than corresponding female patients.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diabetes Complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus / drug therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus / prevention & control*
  • Female
  • Health Services Research
  • Humans
  • Hypertension
  • Lipids / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Primary Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Risk Factors
  • Self Care / standards*
  • Sex Factors
  • Sweden / epidemiology
  • Women's Health


  • Blood Glucose
  • Lipids