Depression and Type 2 Diabetes Raise Dementia Risk

Having diabetes has long been linked to an increased risk in depression, but now research suggests that having both of these conditions can also raise the risk for dementia.

A team from the University of Washington School of Medicine studied dementia risk in three groups of people: those who had depression (over 470,000 people), those who had type 2 diabetes (over 200,000 people) and those who had both depression and type 2 diabetes (over 95,000 individuals).

In the study, the average age a person was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes was 63.1 years old and the average age for a depression diagnosis was 58.5 years old.

Risks for the aging brain

Researchers found that having both diabetes and depression was associated with a 117 percent greater risk for dementia. Having just type 2 diabetes alone was linked to a 20 percent greater risk for dementia, while depression alone was linked to an 83 percent greater risk for the condition.

Dementia risk was also seen to be greater in individuals who were younger than 65.

"In light of the increasing societal burden of chronic diseases, further research is needed to elucidate the pathophysiologic mechanisms linking depression, [type 2 diabetes] and adverse outcomes such as dementia," a press release on the study stated, "and to develop interventions aimed at preventing these dreaded complications."

The study is published in JAMA Psychiatry.

Source: JAMA Network

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