Issue 36 October 2011
2. Study results strengthen Diabetes and Dementia Link
A new study published in ‘Neurology’ suggests that diabetes is a significant risk factor for the development of dementia, especially Alzheimer's disease (AD).

"Although previous studies have shown diabetes to be a risk factor for dementia, our study is unique in its methodology," said study investigator Yutaka Kiyohara, MD, PhD, from Kyushu University in Fukuoka, Japan. The study results are frightening in the sense that those with diabetes at baseline were about twice as likely to develop dementia during an average of 11 years as those without diabetes.

All of the participants were made to undergo a 75-g oral glucose tolerance test, and about 90% of dementia cases were confirmed by neuroimaging and/or autopsy, he explained.

The age- and sex-adjusted incidence of all-cause dementia, Alzheimer disease (AD), and vascular dementia (VaD) were significantly higher in subjects with diabetes than in those with normal glucose tolerance. Moreover, the risks of developing all-cause dementia, AD, and VaD significantly increased with elevated 2-hour postload glucose (PG) levels even after adjustment for covariates, but no such associations were observed for fasting plasma glucose (FPG) levels.

These findings suggests that "monitoring blood sugar levels after eating meals, and lowering them, may help reduce the risk of dementia in later life," he added.

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