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Type 2 diabetes: Its effect on dementia risk for older adults in ethnic minorities

December 12, 2013
by Sandra Hoban, Managing Editor
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A 10-year study of more than 22,000 patients (60 and older) with type 2 diabetes explored the relationship of the disease and its associated complications to dementia risk, especially within certain ethnic groups. No one had dementia at the study’s outset, but 3,796 patients developed dementia during the study period.

“Since ethnic minorities are the fastest-growing segment of the elderly population in the United States, it is critical to determine if they are at higher risk of dementia, especially among those with type 2 diabetes,” said Elizabeth Rose Mayeda, PhD, lead author and post doctoral fellow at the University of California–San Francisco, in an article.

Data show African-Americans, some Asian groups and Native Americans are disproportionately affected by type 2 diabetes.  The study determined that Native Americans (64 percent) and African-Americans (44 percent) were more likely to develop dementia than Asian-Americans in the study.

This study, published in the Diabetes Care journal is part of a body of work by the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research to promote a better understanding of dementia.

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