Diabetes, depression and dementia risk

A Californian study has found that patients with type 2 diabetes, who also have depression, have a significantly increased risk of developing dementia.

The research, which included 20,188 adults with diabetes, found that 19.6% of the participants also had clinical depression. Patients from this group had a doubled risk of developing dementia three to five years after initial screening, compared with those with diabetes but no depression.

Depression in patients with diabetes may be associated with reduced adherence to diet and exercise programs, as well as increased smoking rates and poorer blood sugar control. There is also a higher likelihood of psychobiological changes, which could worsen the course of diabetes, and increase the risk of dementia associated with depression, the authors say.