Dementia Risk Increased by Type 2 Diabetes

First Posted: Dec 30, 2015 02:22 PM EST

Patients with Type 2 diabetes may be at an increased risk of dementia, according to a recent study.

Researchers at Curtin University in Perth, Australia, found that vascular dementia was more likely to affect women with diabetes than men: this types of dementia affects blood flow to the brain.

"In Alzheimer's disease, nerve cells throughout the brain die off, and abnormal proteins accumulate in the brain for reasons not entirely known," Rachel Huxley of Curtin University in Perth, Australia, told Reuters Health. "Vascular dementia, in contrast, is the result of impaired blood flow to the brain, usually by a series of small, imperceptible strokes."

During the study, researchers examined 14 studies that involved over 2 million people-including more than 100,000 with dementia. Findings showed that diabetes was linked with a 60 percent increased risk of dementia in both men and women. Furthermore, researchers found that women with diabetes showed a 19 percent greater risk of developing vascular dementia when compared to male counterparts.

"These findings add to the evidence that diabetes confers a greater vascular hazard in women compared with men. Diabetes confers a greater risk of developing heart disease, stroke, and now vascular dementia in women compared with men," she added.

The study results are published in the Diabetes Care journal of the American Diabetes Association.

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