More men with diabetes end up in hospital than women, research shows

by Sarita Sheth on November 19, 2012

Many OECD countries have seen a rise in hospital admissions for diabetes

Men are more likely to be admitted to hospital as a result of poor management of diabetes than women, even when there are no significant differences in the number of men and women living with diabetes, research reveals.

A study of 25 countries by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) shows that the average number of hospital admissions with diabetes was 188 per 100,000 among men in 2009, whereas women had a hospital admission rate of 143 per 100,000, more than 20% lower.

It says that the greater numbers of men being admitted to hospital for poor management of diabetes ought to raise concerns that men are not managing their diabetes as well or making the most of primary health care services when compared to women.

Overall in these countries some 8.7% of men and 8.3% of women are currently living with diabetes.

Across both sexes, countries such as Switzerland, Canada and Portugal have high prevalence of diabetes across their population but low rates of hospital admissions from poor management of diabetes. At the same time, Korea, Mexico and Austria have similarly high prevalence of diabetes but much higher rates of hospital admissions.

Progress in improving diabetes care across OECD countries has been mixed in the last two years for which data are available. Canada, Portugal, Sweden, Denmark, Ireland, Germany and Austria have reduced the number of hospital diabetes related hospital admissions.

However, Iceland, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Italy, Finland and Korea have all seen increases in hospital admissions for diabetes. Admission rates in Norway and the United States have remained about the same.

The report points out that diabetes is a health condition where good health policies and good health care can make a big difference. Modest weight loss and dietary changes can delay and prevent the onset of diabetes and better management of blood glucose can reduce further health care complications.

However, too many patients across OECD countries today do not receive treatment until more serious complications have set in. As countries reflect on how to improve health care for people living with diabetes, the OECD encourages them to think about their men.

The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of the Community and should not be interpreted as medical advice. Please see your doctor before making any changes to your diabetes management plan.

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