Dementia linked with diabetes as risk 'triples' in people diagnosed younger
25.05.2023 - 13:39
The risk of dementia increases the younger people develop diabetes, new research has found.
Prediabetes is when blood sugar is high but has not developed into type 2 diabetes. Most people who go on to develop diabetes first pass through this stage of prediabetes.
There was a three times greater risk of dementia for those developing type 2 diabetes before the age of 60, according to the recent study published in the medical journal Diabetologia.
Findings from a new study indicate that preventing prediabetes into becoming type 2 diabetes could mean a "substantial" reduction in future cases of dementia.
Research suggests that up to one third of the UK population may have prediabetes, which is linked with a high risk of progression to diabetes but is also independently associated with other changes in health.
To look at the risk of dementia associated with prediabetes, the authors analysed data from people of the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study in the US.
The risks fell to a 73% increased risk for those developing the condition aged 60-69 and a 23 percent increased risk for those developing it aged 70-79.
The findings thus suggest that at ages 80 or older, developing diabetes was not associated with an increased risk of dementia.
The authors said: "Prediabetes is associated with dementia risk, but this risk is explained by the development of diabetes. Diabetes onset at early age is most strongly related to dementia.
"Thus, preventing or delaying the progression of prediabetes to diabetes will substantially reduce the future burden of dementia."
The study by PhD student Jiaqi Hu and Professor Elizabeth Selvin of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and colleagues, evaluated the association of prediabetes