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'Higher risk' of dementia for people with diabetes and depression

'Higher risk' of dementia for people with diabetes and depression
8th March 2010

Having major depression more than doubles the risk of developing dementia among patients with diabetes, according to a new medical study.

Over a five-year period, 7.9 per cent of diabetes patients with major depression were diagnosed with dementia, compared to 4.8 per cent among those with diabetes alone, according to an article published in the Journal of General Internal medicine.

The research study group was lead led by Dr. Wayne Katon of the University of Washington, who explained: "Diabetes alone has shown to be a risk factor for dementia, as has major depression by itself.

"Our analysis suggests that major depression more than doubles the risk of dementia in adults with diabetes."

It is still not certain how diabetes and depression interact to create a higher risk of developing dementia.

Behaviours in common with depression, such as over-eating and smoking, may also increase the risk of developing dementia, the study group claimed.

According to the Alzheimer's Research Trust, there are around 820,000 people in the UK living with dementia.

Read more about Barchester's dementia care homes.