A new study from Taiwan suggests that diabetes–and not conditions that often accompany it–is more important when it comes to risk factors for dementia.
This study looked at more than 51,500 adults, ranging in age from 29 to 99 years old. Their health data was gleaned from Taiwan’s National Health Insurance Research Database and divided into groups of people with/without dementia and with/without high blood pressure and high blood lipids.
The data was tracked for 10 years and then compared again. By then, 333 new cases of dementia had been diagnosed in the study’s participants–most of them type-2 diabetics. (Type 2 diabetes is characterized as diabetes caused by the body’s inability to use insulin, which the pancreas is still producing. This is different from diabetes type 1, which is diabetes caused by the pancreas’ inability to produce insulin or to produce enough insulin.)
What the researchers behind this study ultimately concluded that the 10-year risk for dementia was higher for individuals with diabetes than those with it. Does this mean that diabetes causes dementia? The authors of the study aren’t saying that but they are encouraging other researchers to look at the underlying causes of dementia and any preventative measures that could be taken to reduce patients’ risk.
The study was published in the journal Alzheimer’s Research & Therapy.
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