Cardiovascular disease in women with diabetes mellitus: a review

P R Health Sci J. 2004 Sep;23(3):193-7.


Objective: To analyze cardiovascular disease (CVD) along wit it's contributing risk factors in women with diabetes mellitus (DM) and from this, to recommend prevention strategies.

Methods: A review of pertinent studies serves as the basis for the analysis and recommendations of prevention strategies in this group.

Results: Women with (DM) show a higher morbidity and mortality from CVD. The presence of DM confers these individuals the same risk of having a coronary event as present in a non-diabetic person who has suffered a previous myocardial infarction. Arterial hypertension, a characteristic dyslipidaemia (hypertrigliceridemia, low level of high density lipoprotein cholesterol and elevated low density lipoprotein cholesterol), obesity, microalbuminuria, platelet hyperaggregability and endothelial dysfunction converge conferring the women with DM a higher susceptibility to atherosclerosis. Recommendations include: lifestyle intervention weight reduction, increase in physical activity and smoking cessation. Women with DM should target to lower the LDL-C to a level below 100 mg/dl, the blood pressure level to below 130/80 mm Hg and triglycerides to less than 150 mg/dl. The goal is to raise HDL-C to a level over 45 mg/dl and reduce hemoglobin A1c (HbAlc) levels to below seven (7%) percent. Women with DM should use aspirin on a daily basis, unless contraindicated. These actions may lead to the reduction of the burden of CVD in women with DM.

Conclusion: This article summarizes the recent salient features of CVD in women with DM with emphasis on preventive measures as well as on the understanding of prevailing guidelines established under the principles of evidence based medicine.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Agents / therapeutic use
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / complications*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / drug therapy
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Diabetes Complications / complications*
  • Diabetes Complications / drug therapy
  • Female
  • Guidelines as Topic
  • Humans
  • Risk Factors


  • Cardiovascular Agents