Women with diabetes are at greater risk of suffering heart failure than men, a shock study reveals.
Experts say the difference may be due to greater obesity in women, or doctors missing warning signs and denying them vital blood pressure and cholesterol-lowering drugs.
Research by the George Institute for Global Health involving almost 12 million people from ten countries including Britain found women with type 1 diabetes – where their body cannot produce enough insulin – have a 47 percent higher increased risk of heart failure compared to men.
The increased danger is nine percent higher for women than men in those who have type 2 diabetes – often caused by poor diet and lack of exercise.
Evidence shows that women are not getting medications which could prevent heart failure, even when they develop earlier heart problems.
That may be because coronary heart disease, which often leads to heart failure, causes more confusing symptoms in women. While men often get chest pain spreading down their left arm, women have less obvious symptoms such as nausea and back pain.
Dr Sanne Peters, who co-authored the study, published in journal Diabetologia, said: "Some major concerns are that women are also being undertreated for diabetes, are not taking the same levels of medications as men and are less likely to receive intensive care."