Gender Differences in the Prevalence of Undiagnosed Diabetes in Acute Coronary Syndromes: Understanding the relationship of cardiac and metabolic risk factors
Barbara Gulanski, M.D.,Associate Professor of Internal Medicine (Endocrinology)
Women with diabetes are at particularly high risk for severe heart disease. Dr. Gulanski’s study represented an initial step to uncover the underlying reasons for this association by examining such factors as the role of inflammation of the vascular system and subsequent atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).
Highlighted Study Findings
Dr. Gulanski’s Ethel F. Donaghue Women’s Health Investigator Program-funded study screened more than 1,000 patients with an admitting diagnosis of acute coronary syndrome (ACS), with the goal of identifying the prevalence of impaired glucose tolerance/undiagnosed diabetes. The investigation found that women appeared to have a higher prevalence of glucose intolerance than men. Moreover, it appeared that younger women were more likely to have diabetes and resulting heart disease. From a practical health-benefit standpoint, the study showed it was important to treat the diabetes of young women aggressively to prevent further complications. The results also demonstrated the need for aggressive screening for diabetes in the primary care setting and screening for undiagnosed diabetes among ACS patients, especially young women.