Gender effect on the relation between diabetes and hospitalization for heart failure

Exp Clin Endocrinol Diabetes. 2012 Jan;120(1):51-5. doi: 10.1055/s-0031-1284377. Epub 2011 Sep 13.


Aims: Cardiovascular risk among diabetic patients is at least twice as much the one for non-diabetic individuals and even greater when diabetic women are considered. Heart failure (HF) is a common unfavorable outcome of cardiovascular disease in diabetes. However, since the comparison among sexes of heart failure prevalence in diabetic patients remains limited, this study is aimed at expanding the information about this point.

Methods: We have evaluated the association between diabetes and HF by reviewing the medical records of all subjects discharged from the Internal Medicine and Cardiology Units of all hospitals in the Tuscany region, Italy, during the period January 2002 through December 2008. In particular we sought concomitance of ICD-9-CM codes for diabetes and HF.

Results: Patients discharged by Internal Medicine were on average older, more represented by women, and had a lesser number of individuals coded as diabetic (p<0.05 for all). Relative risk for HF (95% CI) was significantly higher in patients with diabetes, irrespective of gender 1.39 (1.36-1.41) in males; 1.40 (1.37-1.42) in females. When the diabetes-HF association was analyzed according to decades of age, a "horse-shoe" pattern was apparent with an increased risk in 40-59 years old in female patients discharged by Internal Medicine.

Conclusions: Although there is not a difference in the overall HF risk between hospitalized male and female diabetic patients, women have an excess risk at perimenopausal age.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Diabetes Complications / epidemiology*
  • Diabetes Complications / physiopathology
  • Heart Failure / epidemiology*
  • Heart Failure / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Italy / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Characteristics*