Diabetes, obesity and high cholesterol in women

Diabetes, obesity and high cholesterol can increase risk for heart conditions and stroke.


Women with diabetes have a higher risk of heart attack and stroke than men, and experience worse outcomes.

There are often delays in diagnosis of diabetes in women. Diabetes diagnosis tends to occur when women have more body fat, are older and the disease is more advanced than in men.

Gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy) doubles the risk of developing diabetes later in life.

Be aware of changes in your health status such as increased thirst and urination, unexplained weight loss or gain, or increased yeast infections which could be signs of diabetes. Talk to your health care provider if you have any concerns.


Obesity is rising among women in Canada. Obesity is a highly genetic, chronic health condition that can affect heart and brain health. Obesity, diabetes and high cholesterol are associated with high blood pressure, and are seen more often in women than men.

High cholesterol

In women, high cholesterol is one of the most significant risk factors for heart conditions and stroke.

Throughout menopause, women may experience an increase in bad cholesterol (LDL) and fat (triglyceride) levels as well as a decrease in good cholesterol (HDL). This is due to changes in hormone levels.

Women with high cholesterol are less likely than men to be prescribed medication to manage this condition, leading to poorer health outcomes.

Know your numbers. Women should discuss their cholesterol levels with their health care provider and know how to keep cholesterol levels in a healthy range.