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Diabetes Ups Risk for Dementia in Japanese Study

Diabetes May Be Risk Factor for Dementia A new study suggests individuals with diabetes have an increased risk of developing dementia than non-diabetics.

The discovery is sobering as the incidence of diabetes is expanding greatly across the world. In America, nearly 26 million adults and children have diabetes constituting 8.3 percent of the population.

“Our findings emphasize the need to consider diabetes as a potential risk factor for dementia,” said study author Yutaka Kiyohara, M.D., Ph.D., 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.”

Researchers discovered people with diabetes were more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia.

Diabetes is associated with damage to the integrity of blood vessels in the brain, causing vascular dementia – an event that eventually deprives the brain of oxygen.

Researchers monitored 1,017 Japanese individuals age 60 and older for an average of 11 years and then tested for dementia. During the study, 232 people developed dementia.

Investigators discovered people with diabetes were twice as likely to develop dementia as people with normal blood sugar levels.

Of the 150 people with diabetes, 41 developed dementia, compared to 115 of the 559 people without diabetes who developed dementia. The results remained the same after the researchers accounted for factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and smoking.

The risk of dementia was also higher in people who did not have diabetes, but had impaired glucose tolerance, or were “pre-diabetes.”

Researchers also discovered the risk of developing dementia was significantly increased when blood sugar was still high two hours after a meal.

The study is published in the medical journal Neurology.

Source: American Academy of Neurology

Diabetes Ups Risk for Dementia in Japanese Study

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2018). Diabetes Ups Risk for Dementia in Japanese Study. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 24, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Aug 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Aug 2018
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