Health & Medical Public Health

Differences in Adult Men and Women With Diabetes Management

Differences in Adult Men and Women With Diabetes Management

Results


Table 1 presents the weighted distributions of sample demographic characteristics for the population of Canadians living with and without diabetes by sex. In both populations there were significantly more women than men who did not complete high school education, and more men than women who had obtained a post-secondary degree. In general, the lower income quintiles had a higher proportion of women and the higher income quintiles had a higher proportion of men. Regardless of diabetes status, fewer women were married or in common-law relationships and more women were classified as being widowed, separated, or divorced.

Table 2 presents the clinical and lifestyle characteristics of individuals living with and without diabetes by sex. A higher proportion of women than men with diabetes reported having hypertension (59.3% vs. 50.1%), anxiety disorders (8.3% vs. 3.5%), and mood disorders (13.2% vs. 5.5%). However, no sex differences were observed for those with diabetes with regards to whether they were taking blood pressure medication, and whether they had heart disease, current cancer and previous cancer. Among those without diabetes, more men than women were obese (16.6% vs. 14.4%, respectively); however, among those with diabetes, more women were obese than men (42.8% vs. 37.9%, respectively), though this finding was not statistically significant. Within the population without diabetes, more women than men reported having a regular medical doctor, being an overnight patient in the previous year, and reported visiting an eye specialist (in the past 12 months) more frequently than men (μwomen = 0.6, 95% CI: 0.6–0.6; μmen = 0.4, 95% CI: 0.4–0.4), though this sex difference was not significant in the population with diabetes.

There were no significant differences between women and men living with diabetes with regards to their initial age of diagnosis, the proportion taking insulin or pills to manage their diabetes, or the timeframe when they began taking insulin (Table 3). Regarding the mean number of times individuals with diabetes self-check their glucose levels on a daily basis, a sex difference was observed for individuals not taking insulin, with women checking less frequently (μwomen = 1.7, 95% CI: 1.7–1.8) than men (μmen = 3.1, 95% CI: 2.9–3.2) [Data not in tables]. Men and women who were taking insulin to manage their diabetes reported checking their blood glucose with a similar daily frequency (μmen = 2.1, 95% CI: 2.0–2.2; μwomen = 2.2, 95% CI: 2.1–2.4) [Data not in tables].

Table 4 presents lifestyle characteristics and behaviours for individuals living with and without diabetes by sex. A greater proportion of women than men in both populations experienced participation and activity limitation. More women than men avoided certain foods because they were concerned with fat content or caloric content. As well, a greater proportion of women revealed not having a job in the previous week, while a greater proportion of men had a job and were at work within the previous week. Irrespective of whether they had diabetes, more women chose to avoid certain foods because they were concerned about fat content or caloric content of their food (Table 4).

No significant differences existed between women and men living with diabetes with regards to the provision of medical management (Table 5).

Table 6 summarizes results of the fully adjusted models for sex differences of Canadians with diabetes. Compared to men with diabetes, women were more likely to live in the third or lower income quintile than the highest income bracket, and be divorced/widowed/separated or never married compared to being married/common-law. Women with diabetes were more likely than males to have not had a job in the previous week. They were also more likely to be physically inactive, consume one drink a week or less or be non-drinkers, to meet the recommended daily fruit and vegetable consumption, and to avoid foods with high calories, avoid foods with fat, and select or avoid foods because they were concerned with heart disease. Women were also more likely to have hypertension, but less likely to have heart disease. In addition, women were more likely to have an anxiety and mood disorder than men. Women were also less likely to be considered former smokers and more likely to be non-smokers (Table 6).



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