Diabetics Face Greater Risk for Dementia

Patients with type 2 diabetes have about a 60% greater risk for developing dementia than their non-diabetic counterparts.

Patients with type 2 diabetes have about a 60% greater risk for developing dementia than their non-diabetic counterparts.

Researchers recently evaluated 14 studies encompassing more than 2 million individuals in order to examine the relationship between diabetes and dementia.

The researchers used sex-matched individuals in their meta-analysis to find out if the relationship between diabetes and dementia was similar in both men and women.

Previous research has already suggested that diabetes leads to a greater risk for cardiovascular disease in women than in men, but experts did not know if gender made a difference in dementia risk.

Of the 2.3 million individuals whose data was used in the study, around 102,000 had dementia.

The study authors deduced from their analysis that diabetes was associated with a 60% increased risk for both men and women.

One difference, however, was that women with diabetes had a 19% increased risk for developing vascular dementia than men. Women did not face a greater risk than men when looking at the incidence of nonvascular dementia, according to the study published in Diabetes Care.

Exercise, a healthy diet, smoking cessation, and brain exercises may decrease the risk for dementia in patients with diabetes. Pharmacists can help diabetics who do develop dementia by showing empathy and providing educational resources for them and their caregivers.

In addition, monitoring for potential drug interactions and contraindications is vital.

Pharmacists can also suggest that patients and caregivers use memory aids or schedules to stay adherent to medications, and they can also suggest an exercise routine.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that around 5.3 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease (the most common form of dementia), though that number may more than double by 2050.

Alzheimer’s is also listed as the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States, according to the CDC.