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Increased risk of certain types of dementia in type 2 diabetes – EASD

Previous studies have shown that the risk of developing dementia is increased in patients with type 2 diabetes. Now a Swedish-British research team has analyzed data from the Swedish national quality register NDR and tried to determine if the risk is higher of certain cognitive diseases.

The results, presented at the ongoing diabetes congress EASD, indicate that the risk of developing vascular dementia is 36 percent higher among people with type 2 diabetes compared to a group of non-diabetics, matched by gender and age. The risk of developing non-vascular dementia was 9 percent higher in the diabetes group.

However, the researchers saw no increased risk of developing Alzheimer̵

7;s in the study material. Vascular dementia is caused by blood clots or bleeding while Alzheimer’s is a neurodegenerative form of dementia.

Naveed Sattar, professor at the University of Glasgow and the study’s lead author, says that the results point to the importance of treating other risk factors in the patient group, not least in primary care.

– Getting rid of blood glucose levels, cholesterol, blood pressure and smoking in patients with diabetes is extra important to try to reduce the risk of developing vascular dementia.

The researchers also compared patients with well-adjusted blood sugar, defined as HbA1c below 52 mmol / mol, compared to those with above 87 mmol / mol. After adjusting for, among other things, BMI, blood pressure and kidney function, the high HbA1c value linked to a twice as high risk of developing vascular dementia as the low value.

Why the risk of developing vascular dementia in particular seems higher in patients with diabetes, the researchers have not studied. It has also not taken into account lifestyle changes that have taken place during the seven years from which the data are taken.

“This does not mean that everyone with type 2 diabetes will develop dementia, the absolute risk is still low, but given the increasing number of people who develop type 2 diabetes, the importance of a healthy lifestyle is clearer than ever,” says Naveed. Sattar.

That he became interested in Swedish register data is due to the fact that he met Swedish researchers at an EASD congress five years ago in Stockholm, a meeting that would not have taken place at this year’s digital variant.

– I listened to a presentation they had and asked a question that led to a collaboration and that I am now a visiting professor at the University of Gothenburg, he says.

A total of 370,000 adult individuals with type 2 diabetes were included in the analysis. The mean age of the study population was 64 years and data were collected from the period 1998 and 2013.

C. Celis-Morales et al. Glycatised hemoglobin, type 2 diabetes and the links to dementia and its main subtypes: results from the Swedish Diabetes Register

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