Men better at blood sugar control than women, study suggests

Men with type 1 diabetes may be better at controlling blood sugar levels than women, according to research presented this week at the annual meeting for the European Association for the Study of Diabetes.

Little research has been done on the differences in blood sugar control between the sexes, which prompted University of Edinburgh professor Sarah Wild and colleagues to investigate this topic more thoroughly.

The study

Researchers used a large international dataset that included patients from 12 countries: Austria, Denmark, Italy, Germany, Norway, New Zealand, Scotland, Latvia, the United States, Ukraine, Slovenia and Sweden. A total of 142,260 children and adults patients were studied, with researchers focusing on blood sugar control over the previous 12 to 24 months. The team adjusted for age and duration of diabetes.

Surprising results

Between boys and girls, there was no statistical significance in blood sugar control differences. But women between the ages of 15 and 29 were 8 percent more likely to miss target blood sugar levels than men the same age, and women over 30 years old were 6 percent more likely to miss targets than men over 30.

"In this analysis of type 1 diabetes data from several countries males were more likely to have a better blood sugar control profile than females," Dr. Wild said in a statement. "Further work is required to investigate explanations for this finding."

Why are men better at managing blood sugar? The answer may be more rooted in biology than behavior, Wild concluded.

"One explanation could be that women tend to have lower haemoglobin levels than men which could explain the higher HbA1c levels, but further research is required to confirm this."

Source: Science Daily

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