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Men have better blood glucose control, suggests diabetes study

Men with type 1 diabetes appear to be better at blood glucose control than women, suggests a large European study.

However, the researchers found there is no significant difference in blood glucose control between boys and girls.

The findings were presented at this week’s annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes in Barcelona, Spain.

The research, led by Professor Sarah Wild from the University of Edinburgh, looked at data on 142,260 child and adult patients from 12 countries – Austria, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Latvia, New Zealand, Norway, Scotland, Slovenia, Sweden, Ukraine, and the US.

The researchers analysed blood glucose control over the previous 12-24 months derived from both population-based registers and clinic databases.

They compared the proportions of people with HbA1c of more than 7.5% (58mmol/mol) for females compared to males, adjusted for age and duration of diabetes.

Women aged 15-29 years were 8% more likely to miss the target and have HbA1c ≥7.5% than men of the same age, while women aged 30 years and over were 6% more likely to miss the target than men in the same age group.

In those aged less 15 years old there was no statistically significant difference between boys and girls.

Dr Wild said: “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.

“Further work is required to investigate explanations for this finding,” she said, adding: “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.”

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