Type 2 diabetes linked to increased cognitive decline in middle-age
MedWire News: Dutch researchers have found that middle-aged individuals with Type 2 diabetes have a more pronounced decline in cognitive function than their nondiabetic peers.
Astrid Nooyens and colleagues, from the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment in Bilthoven, report results from the Dutch prospective Doetinchem Cohort Study, an ongoing trial set up during 1987-1991 to assess the impact on health of changes in various biological factors.
Cognitive function was measured twice in 2613 participants, aged 43-70 years, first at baseline in 1995-2002 and then 5 years later in 2000-2007, and the 5-year data formed the basis of the current study.
Nooyens and team assessed changes in global cognitive function scores, and those in the specific cognitive function domains of memory, speed of cognitive processes, and cognitive flexibility.
Of the participants who underwent cognitive function testing, 61 had prevalent diabetes at baseline and 78 developed incident diabetes during the study.
Writing in the journal Diabetes Care, the researchers found that at 5 years, prevalent diabetic patients had a significant 2.6-fold greater decline in global cognitive function than nondiabetics. Incident diabetics had a 1.6-fold greater decline in global cognitive function compared with nondiabetics, but this was not statistically significant.
In the 60 years and older age group, cognitive flexibility declined 2.5 and 3.6 times more in patients with incident and prevalent diabetes, respectively, than in nondiabetics over the study period.
The authors note that for the majority of cognitive domains, decline in patients who developed incident diabetes was of a degree intermediate between that of patients with and without diabetes at baseline.
Nooyens et al conclude that their results suggest "cognitive function should be assessed and monitored in middle-aged individuals with Type 2 diabetes."
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By Helen Albert