Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

The 'Female Advantage' In Kidney Disease Does Not Extend To Diabetic Women

Date:
August 13, 2007
Source:
American Physiological Society
Summary:
Women have a "female advantage" when it comes to chronic kidney disease. When compared to men, they have fewer and less severe episodes of this disorder throughout most of their lives. That advantage disappears, however, when the woman is diabetic. For reasons still unclear, diabetic women -- regardless of age -- are diagnosed with kidney and heart diseases almost as frequently as men. Studies suggest kidney disease in diabetic women may be result of imbalances in hormonal ratios, not an absolute level of estrogen.

Women have a "female advantage" when it comes to chronic kidney disease. When compared to men, they have fewer and less severe episodes of this disorder throughout most of their lives.

That advantage disappears, however, when the woman is diabetic. For reasons still unclear, diabetic women -- regardless of age -- are diagnosed with kidney and heart diseases almost as frequently as men.

What is it about diabetes that predisposes a woman to develop renal disease at levels generally associated with her male counterpart?

Researchers at Georgetown University's Center for the Study of Sex Differences in Health, Aging and Disease have been studying the phenomenon and have identified a novel observation to help explain why. The leader of this research team and the Center's Director of Diabetes Research is Dr. Christine Maric. She will discuss the state of the team's findings entitled, "Sex, Diabetes and Renal Injury," at the upcoming conference, Sex and Gender in Cardiovascular-Renal Physiology and Pathophysiology. The meeting, sponsored by the American Physiological Society is being held August 9-12, 2007 in Austin, TX.

Background

Women are infrequently diagnosed with kidney or heart disease until they reach menopause. At menopause, when their sex hormone -- estrogen -- begins to disappear from their system, the rate of kidney disease begins to increase. As a result, estrogen is believed to have a protective effect against developing kidney and heart disease.

Unlike their non-diabetic counterparts of any age, women with diabetes are found to have similar rates of kidney and heart disease as males. Diabetic women are also known to have high rates of stillborn births, experience higher rates of menstrual difficulties, and have trouble conceiving.

Studies

In an effort to understand why women with diabetes are more likely to get kidney disease than their non-diabetic female counterparts, the Georgetown researchers conducted several studies in which they determined that:

  • diabetes is associated with reduced estrogen (estradiol) levels, which may explain why the females lose the protective factor when it comes to diabetes
  • estrogen and estrogen-like supplements protect the kidney in an animal model of diabetic renal disease, suggesting that restoring estrogen levels provides protection against kidney disease
  • the absence of the hormone testosterone contributes to a more rapid progression of kidney disease when diabetes is present. More severe renal damage can be found when diabetes is present.

Conclusion

These findings suggest that sex hormones play a significant role in the development of diabetic kidney disease. According to Maric, "Our observations suggest that kidney disease in diabetic women may not be the result of absolute levels of hormones, as previously thought, but to the relative ratio of [sex hormone] androgen to estrogen. It may well be that the ratio of the two hormones is what determines the effect of the hormones in the diabetic kidney."

According to Dr. Maric, "The biggest surprise has been the finding that sex hormones -- normally thought to control only the reproductive function -- are involved in controlling processes in non-reproductive organs, including the kidney. Moving forward, we need to look more deeply into understanding how sex hormones affect organ function in each gender."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Physiological Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Physiological Society. "The 'Female Advantage' In Kidney Disease Does Not Extend To Diabetic Women." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 August 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070809103728.htm>.
American Physiological Society. (2007, August 13). The 'Female Advantage' In Kidney Disease Does Not Extend To Diabetic Women. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070809103728.htm
American Physiological Society. "The 'Female Advantage' In Kidney Disease Does Not Extend To Diabetic Women." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070809103728.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

EU Ministers and Experts Meet to Discuss Ebola Reponse

EU Ministers and Experts Meet to Discuss Ebola Reponse

AFP (Sep. 15, 2014) The European Commission met on Monday to coordinate aid that the EU can offer to African countries affected by the Ebola outbreak. Duration: 00:58 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite The Risks, Antibiotics Still Overprescribed For Kids

Despite The Risks, Antibiotics Still Overprescribed For Kids

Newsy (Sep. 15, 2014) A new study finds children are prescribed antibiotics twice as often as is necessary. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

AP (Sep. 15, 2014) The FDA is considering whether to ban devices used by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, the only place in the country known to use electrical skin shocks as aversive conditioning for aggressive patients. (Sept. 15) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Respiratory Virus Spreads To Northeast, Now In 21 States

Respiratory Virus Spreads To Northeast, Now In 21 States

Newsy (Sep. 14, 2014) The respiratory virus Enterovirus D68, which targets children, has spread from the Midwest to 21 states. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins