Men with type 2 diabetes who are treated with insulin are at higher risk risk for major cardiovascular events (e.g., death, heart attack, stroke) according to a new study conducted by researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH). The researchers found that men with type 2 diabetes treated with insulin without a history of cardiovascular disease (CVD) were at higher risk for major cardiovascular events compared with men who had a history of CVD.
Using data from the global REACH Registry, researchers evaluated the magnitude of risk of diabetes mellitus on cardiovascular events in both men and women. Risk was estimated in men and women separately independent of patient age, ethnicity, and other cardiovascular risk factors.
Among the 64,000 eligible REACH patients, the four-year risk of major cardiovascular events (death, heart attack or stroke) increased incrementally in patients with diabetes treated with diet only, oral diabetes medications or insulin.
Male patients with type 2 diabetes treated with insulin but without prior CVD were a particular high-risk group, with an accelerated rate of new cardiovascular events compared to their female counterparts.
For instance, men with diabetes taking insulin had a 16 percent rate of major cardiovascular events over four years. Whereas, men with prior CVD without diabetes had a lower rate for these cardiovascular events, similar to women with diabetes taking insulin and women without diabetes but with prior CVD (about 13 percent).
The researchers concluded that men with diabetes taking insulin had a 70 percent increased risk for a first cardiovascular event compared to men with a known history of CVD having a recurrent event.
In addition, men with diabetes taking insulin were at a 40 percent higher risk than women.
The study is being presented at the American College of Cardiology 2012 Annual Scientific Session, March 24 to 26 in Chicago.