Study Finds Having Both Diabetes And Depression Raises Dementia Risk By 117%
In an article published in the American Medical Association Journal of Psychiatry, researchers have shown that people with diabetes and depression have an even greater risk of developing dementia than the combined risk of people with diabetes or depression.
To identify people with diabetes, depression and possibly dementia, scientists used various Danish national registers. Scientists identified people with type II diabetes from a national diabetes registry. People with depression were identified if they were diagnosed by a psychiatrist and listed in a Danish psychiatric research register, or if they were prescribed antidepressants, in a national prescription register. People with dementia were identified by a medical diagnosis, listed in national patient registers or psychiatric research or, if specific drugs were prescribed, entered in the national prescription registry. The researchers then used statistical modeling to estimate the risk of developing dementia associated with diabetes, depression, or both, compared to people who had neither diabetes nor depression.
The study included more than 2.4 million Danish citizens aged 50 and over who did not initially have dementia. Of these, about one in five suffered from depression, with the average age of first diagnosis being 59. About one in ten people had diabetes, with an average age of diagnosis of 63. Finally, about one in twenty people suffered from depression and diabetes.
During the course of the study, about one in fifty people were diagnosed with dementia at an average age of 81. Of these, about one in five suffered from depression, about one in ten had diabetes, and about one in sixteen had both depression and diabetes.
Having both diabetes and depression was associated with a 117% increased risk of being diagnosed with dementia
The effects of a diagnosis of depression on the risk of developing dementia
In the first year of being diagnosed with depression, researchers reported an almost 7-fold increase in the risk of being diagnosed with dementia. Between 1 and 2 years after a diagnosis of depression, the risk of developing dementia decreased to about 3.5 times. From 6 years after a diagnosis of depression to more than 10 years after, the risk of developing dementia stabilizes at about 2 times the risk of people who do not have depression.
The effects of diagnosing diabetes on the risk of developing dementia
Within the first year of being diagnosed with diabetes, researchers reported a 30% increase in the risk of being diagnosed with dementia. Between 1 and 6 years after a diagnosis of diabetes, the risk of developing dementia decreases to a little greater than in people without diabetes. However, 6 to 10 years after a diagnosis of diabetes, the risk of developing dementia increases again. Starting 10 years or more since a diagnosis of diabetes, there was a 42% increase in the risk of developing dementia, compared to people who did not have diabetes.
The effect of age on the risk of developing dementia
In their study, the researchers compared the effects of diabetes and / or depression on the risk of developing dementia in people under 65 and people aged 65 and over. People with depression and under the age of 65 had an almost 3-fold increased risk of developing dementia. For people over 65 who suffered from depression, the risk of developing dementia was almost double that of people who did not have depression.
People with diabetes who were younger than 65 had an almost twice increased risk of developing dementia. People over 65 with diabetes had a slightly higher risk of developing dementia than those without diabetes. Finally, people who suffered from both depression and diabetes and who were under the age of 65 had an almost five-fold risk of developing dementia. People over 65 who had both depression and diabetes were about twice as likely to develop dementia as people who had neither depression nor diabetes.
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Summary of findings
Researchers reported that diabetes, depression, and diabetes and depression were all associated with an increased risk of developing dementia. Diabetes was associated with a 20% higher risk; a diagnosis of depression was associated with an 83% higher risk; and having both diabetes and depression was associated with a 117% higher risk of being diagnosed with dementia.
RELEVANCE OF THE RESEARCH
This study fills a gap in the literature because before its publication, it was not known whether the risk of developing dementia in people who had both diabetes and depression are the same as when you add the risks of people with diabetes or depression, or if there is an increased risk of dementia. Depression and diabetes are associated with an even higher risk of developing dementia as the combined risk of diabetes or depression. This effect was even greater for people under 65.
The results of this study advance our knowledge by providing evidence that depression is associated with the highest risk of developing dementia compared to those who do not have depression or diabetes. In a separate study that aimed to create prevention programs to reduce the rate of new cases of dementia, it was reported that improved diet and effective treatment for diabetes and depression can reduce dementia diagnoses by 20%. .
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