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Risk factors, treatment and prognosis in men and women with heart failure with and without diabetes


Objective To test the hypothesis that risk factor pattern, treatment and prognosis differ between men and women with heart failure (HF) with and without diabetes in the Swedish Heart Failure Registry.

Methods Patients with (n=8809) and without (n=27 465) type 2 diabetes (T2DM) included in the Swedish Heart Failure Registry (2003–2011) were followed for mortality during a median follow-up of 1.9 years (range 0–8.7 years). All-cause mortality, differences in background and HF characteristics were analysed in women and men with and without T2DM and with a special regard to different age groups.

Results Of 36 274 patients, 24% had T2DM and 39% were women. In patients with T2DM, women were older than men (78 years vs 73 years), more frequently had hypertension, renal dysfunction and preserved ventricular function. Regardless of T2DM status, women with reduced ventricular function, compared with their male counterparts, were less frequently offered, for example, ACE inhibitors/angiotensin receptor II blockers (ARB). Absolute mortality was 48% in women with T2DM, 40% in women without; corresponding male mortality rates were 43% and 35%, respectively. Kaplan-Meier curves revealed shorter longevity in women with T2DM but female sex did not remain a significant mortality predictor following adjustment (OR 95% CI 0.90; 0.79 to 1.03). In those without T2DM, women compared with men lived longer; this pattern remained after adjustment (OR 0.72; 0.66 to 0.78). T2DM was a stronger predictor of mortality in women (OR 1.72; 1.53 to 1.94) than in men (OR 1.47; 1.34 to 1.61).

Conclusions T2DM is a strong mortality predictor in men and women with HF, somewhat stronger in women. The shorter survival time in women with T2DM and HF related to comorbidities rather than sex per se. Evidence-based management was less prevalent in women. Mechanisms behind these findings remain incompletely understood and need further attention.

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