Diabetics are three times more likely to develop dementia, study says
Professor Elizabeth Selwyn said: “Early-onset diabetes is most closely related to dementia.
“Thus, preventing or delaying the progression of prediabetes to diabetes could substantially reduce the future burden of dementia.”
Such was the conclusion drawn from new research involving 11,700 older people in the US who were tracked for more than three decades.
Participants were members of the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study in North Carolina, Mississippi, Minnesota, and Maryland, aged 45 to 64 at the start of enrollment.
A threefold increase in the incidence of dementia was observed in people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes before the age of 60.
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If diabetes was diagnosed between ages 60 and 69, the incidence of dementia was 73 percent.
When diabetes was diagnosed between the ages of 70 and 79, the incidence of dementia dropped by 23 percent.
Professor Selwyn said: “Pre-diabetes is associated with dementia risk, but this risk is explained by the development of diabetes.
“Earlier age at diabetes onset was also associated with a significantly higher risk of dementia.
“Taken together, our findings suggest that halting the progression of pre-diabetes, particularly in younger individuals, may be an important way to reduce the dementia burden.”
NHS England has implemented a diabetes prevention program because type 2 diabetes is “largely preventable”.
Two million people in England are currently at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes, hence the health body’s intervention.
The Healthier You campaign, as it is known, engages at-risk groups in a nine-month evidence-based lifestyle change program.
“Healthy You Program” Available as both a face-to-face group service and a digital service,” says the NHS.
“When referenced in the programme, people are free to choose between the two.”
People in the program are supported on eating more healthily, managing their weight and being more physically active.
These three factors together have been proven to reduce a person’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes.