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Study links diabetes mellitus, depression to dementia risk

April 22, 2015
by Sandra Hoban, Managing Editor
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Depression and type 2 diabetes have been associated with an increased risk for dementia, according to a study published in JAMA Psychiatry. Results also showed that individuals with diagnoses of both depression and type 2 diabetes are at an even higher risk compared with people who had neither condition.

A group of 2.4 million Danish citizens without dementia, age 50 and over, were involved in the study from 2007 to 2013. Researchers examined the risk of dementia in participants with type 2 diabetes, dementia or both compared with participants who had neither condition.

During the study period, authors found, 2.4 percent of participants (59,663 people) developed dementia. The average age at the time of diagnosis was 81 years. Of the participants who developed dementia, 10.8 percent had type 2 diabetes only, 26 percent had depression only and 6.7 percents had both conditions.

Study results indicate that in relation to developing dementia, type 2 diabetes presented a 20 percent greater risk, and depression alone was associated with an 83 percent greater risk. Participants who had both depression and type 2 diabetes were at a 117 percent greater risk for developing dementia.

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