According to a new study, older people with diabetes are more likely to develop cognitive impairment and have their life expectancy decline.
A study in Plos suggests that diabetes is associated with a 40% increase in risk of dementia in older Americans. The physiological pathways linking diabetes to cognitive impairment remain largely unclear. Since cognitive impairment is a major cause of loss of independence and a barrier to adherence, strategies to improve the management of diabetes should take into account the cognitive level of this population.
Starting at age 50, men and women with diabetes experience cognitive decline 3 to 4 years earlier than people without diabetes.
5 to 7 years of life less
Diabetes has reduced total life expectancy by five to seven years and a cognitively healthy life expectancy of four to six years. Compared to people without diabetes, those with diabetes lived about a year less with poor mental health. "The cost of diabetes over the life span is mainly due to the reduction of years of normal cognitive functioning, says lead author Dr. Diaz-Venegas. If in diabetics the progress in mortality is not associated with improved cognition, the cognitive burden associated with diabetes may increase over time. "