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NEW YORK — A study published in the Sept. 20 issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology, found a link between diabetes and the development of dementia.
Japanese researchers analyzed data of 1,017 study participants, ages 60 years and older, who were given a glucose tolerance test after an overnight fast to determine if they had diabetes. After being monitored over a 15-year period, researchers discovered that 41-out-of-150 diabetic participants developed dementia (27%), compared with 115-out-of-559 people without diabetes who developed dementia (21%).
The results remained the same after the researchers accounted for such factors as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and smoking. The risk of dementia also was higher in people who did not have diabetes, but had impaired glucose tolerance, a condition known as prediabetes.
"Our findings emphasize the need to consider diabetes as a potential risk factor for dementia," said study author Yutaka Kiyohara, of Kyushu University in Fukuoka, Japan. "Diabetes is a common disorder, and the number of people with it has been growing in recent years all over the world. Controlling diabetes is now more important than ever."