Scientists from Imperial College London found why people with type 2 diabetes are more likely to develop dementia.
The findings could help identify risk factors for dementia in people with type 2 diabetes and inform interventions to help prevent or delay the condition.
The research was presented at the Diabetes UK Professional Conference and was conducted by Dr. Eszter Vamos et al.
Dementia, a group of conditions that affect the brain, causing memory loss and other changes to brain function, is more common in people with type 2 diabetes, but the reason why people with type 2 are more at risk hasn’t been clear.
In the study, the team analyzed ‘cardiometabolic factors’ – such as blood pressure, blood sugars, and cholesterol levels—in people with type 2 diabetes across two decades.
They analyzed data from 227,580 people with type 2 diabetes over the age of 42 years, around 10% of whom went on to develop dementia.
The team examined the participants’ medical history across the 20 years prior to their dementia diagnosis to look at changes in cardiometabolic factors and body weight, and compared these to people who didn’t develop dementia.
They found over the 20-year period, changes in blood pressure differed between those who did and didn’t develop dementia.
People who developed dementia had higher blood pressure between 11-19 years before their dementia diagnosis, which then declined more steeply closer to their diagnosis, compared to those who didn’t develop dementia.
A decline in body weight starting at 11 years before a dementia diagnosis was found in people who developed the condition and this was steeper than in those who didn’t develop it.
Blood sugar and cholesterol levels were also found to be generally higher across the entire 20-year period among people with type 2 diabetes who developed dementia, compared to those who didn’t.
Eating healthily, keeping active, reducing alcohol intake, and stopping smoking are all advised to help everyone reduce their risk of dementia.
These findings suggest that by monitoring risk factors and managing blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol, and body weight, people with type 2 diabetes could be supported to lower their risk of dementia.
If you care about diabetes, please read studies about how to control diabetes apart from blood sugar levels and six vitamins that help stop complications in diabetes.
For more information about dementia, please see recent studies about metal that could help reduce the risk of dementia, and results showing cataract removal may reduce the dementia risk by 30%.
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