Researchers have discovered a connection between dementia risk and diabetes. This link means that as many as one-quarter of Americans over the age of 60 could have a significantly increased risk for Alzheimer's and other types of dementia, according to the results of a recent study.
Their findings should resonate with particular force among the elderly—25% of whom are diabetic, according to the American Diabetes Association.
Published in the latest issue of the journal, Neurology, the main purpose of the study was to examine the relationship between diabetes and dementia. The researchers followed more than 1,000 people for 15 years in an attempt to uncover a link between the two illnesses.
In the end, they discovered that, both diabetes and pre-diabetes corresponded to an increased risk for dementia. Specifically, 27% of people with diabetes developed dementia over the course of the study, as opposed to only 20% of non-diabetics.
These results highlight the interconnectedness of physical and mental health. Experts hope that the addition of dementia to the list of possible complications from diabetes will inspire doctors and patients to redouble their efforts to manage and prevent the disease.