Dementia risk is impacted by how long someone has had diabetes, Elizabeth Tracey reports


People who’ve had diabetes longer are at greater risk to develop dementia than those who’ve had diabetes for shorter periods of time, a large UK study following people for an average of 30 years has found. Rita Kalyani, a diabetes expert at Johns Hopkins, interprets the findings.

Kalyani: What they found in this very interesting study is that among more than 10,000 participants that they followed those who went on the develop dementia had a relatively earlier age of onset of diabetes and so this study in particular was very informative. It suggested that those at greatest risk of developing cognitive decline or dementia were those that were diagnosed with diabetes at an earlier age.   :26

Kalyani notes that studies like this clearly point to the need to control risk factors for diabetes, such as obesity and sedentary lifestyle, and says some researchers already refer to Alzheimer’s disease as type 3 diabetes since the link has been observed for some time. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.