Diabetes plays a big role in your dementia risk, study finds

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Scientists from Karolinska Institutet found that well-controlled type 2 diabetes is may play a part in dementia risk.

The research is published in Alzheimer’s & Dementia and was conducted by Abigail Dove et al.

It has long been known that type 2 diabetes is associated with a higher risk of developing dementia disease.

However, as for the risk of developing cognitive impairment, a preclinical or very early phase of dementia, the research has been contradictory.

In the study, the team followed over 2,500 individuals over the age of 60 for twelve years.

None of the participants had a dementia diagnosis when the study began, but over 700 of them had cognitive impairment (preclinical dementia).

At the start of the study, 8.6 percent of the participants had type 2 diabetes and approximately one in three had prediabetes.

After twelve years, a number of participants showed a decline in cognitive faculties. Almost 30 percent had developed cognitive impairment.

Of those who had preclinical dementia at the start of the study, 20 percent had developed dementia.

The researchers found that the important factor was how well-controlled the diabetes was, not the presence of diabetes itself.

According to the treatment guidelines for older adults, HbA1C of over 7.5 percent is considered poorly controlled diabetes.

In the study, people with poorly controlled diabetes disease, compared to people without diabetes, were twice as likely to develop preclinical dementia and three times more likely to deteriorate from preclinical dementia to dementia disease.

The researchers also examined the risk of impaired cognitive health in participants who had type 2 diabetes and comorbid heart disease, in this case, atrial fibrillation, heart failure or coronary artery disease.

They found the participants who had type 2 diabetes and concurrent heart disease had twice the risk of developing preclinical dementia or dementia disease compared with those who had neither type 2 diabetes nor heart disease.

However, having either type 2 diabetes or heart disease was not linked to a higher risk.

The team says what matters is how well-controlled the diabetes is. Since there is currently no cure for dementia, prevention is vital, and here they have evidence that this can be done through the careful control of diabetes.

It is common in type 2 diabetes for there to be chronic inflammation in the body. The same applies to many cardiovascular diseases and dementia.

If you care about dementia, please read studies about how to stop dementia from nose, and how to prevent frontotemporal dementia.

For more information about diabetes, please see recent studies about the breads people with diabetes can eat without blood sugar rise, and results showing how to protect your kidneys from diabetes.

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