Type 2 diabetes accelerates cognitive decline in middle age

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Background

Type 2 diabetes increases the risk for dementia, but whether it affects cognition before old age is unclear. We investigated whether duration of diabetes in late midlife and poor glycaemic control were associated with accelerated cognitive decline.

Methods

5653 participants from the Whitehall II cohort study (median age 54·4 years [IQR 50·3—60·3] at first cognitive assessment), were classified into four groups: normoglycaemia, prediabetes, newly diagnosed diabetes, and known diabetes. Tests of memory, reasoning, phonemic and semantic fluency, and a global score that combined all cognitive tests, were assessed three times over 10 years (1997—99, 2002—04, and 2007—09). Mean HbA1cwas used to assess glycaemic control during follow-up. Analyses were adjusted for sociodemographic characteristics, health-related behaviours, and chronic diseases.

Findings

Compared with normoglycaemic participants, those...