Men with diabetes carry more brain plaque load than women

Tuesday, November 28 | 10:10 a.m.-10:20 a.m. | T3-SSNR07-5 | Room S405

In this scientific session, presenters will share results from a study that found that men with type 2 diabetes carry more brain plaque burden than women.

And women with the disease undergoing hypoglycemic drug treatment for it showed significantly reduced brain plaque load compared to their male counterparts, reported a team led by presenter Xuejiao Yan, MD, of Shaanxi Provincial People’s Hospital in Xi'an, China.

"The total and proximal burden of intracranial atherosclerotic plaque in male patients with type 2 diabetes with acute cerebrovascular disease were significantly higher than those in female patients," Yan and colleagues noted.

Previous research has shown that there are sex differences in the prevalence of type 2 diabetes and its associated diseases such as atherosclerosis and stroke. Yan's group sought to explore any plaque burden differences by sex in patients with type 2 diabetes and acute cerebral ischemia.

The team conducted a study that included 73 patients with type 2 diabetes who experienced acute stroke or transient ischemic attack due to brain arteries narrowed by plaque. To estimate plaque burden, the team measured proximal and distal plaques of the middle cerebral artery M1-3, anterior cerebral artery A1-2, and posterior cerebral artery P1-2.

The investigators found the following:

  •  Levels of the cholesterol-transmitting protein apolipoprotein A-I, amino acid homocysteine, and uric acid were higher in men compared with women, as was the smoking rate (p = 0.004, p = 0.016, p = 0.030, and p < 0.001, respectively).
  • Men had higher intracranial total and proximal plaque burden than women, at 1.4 and 1.6 (with 1 as reference) respectively.
  • Women's proximal plaque burden was reduced in those who underwent hypoglycemic drug treatment.

The results suggest that "hypoglycemic therapy has a protective effect on the proximal intracranial plaque burden in women," Yan and colleagues concluded.

Want to know more? Attend this session to get the full study details.

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