Older diabetics can also suffer from cognitive problems

Thu, 02 Sep 2010
A new study has found that older adults who suffer from diabetes and three other health factors are more likely to have a bad memory and slower cognitive processing than people without these problems.

The factors of high blood pressure, slow walking and being prone to losing balance were highlighted from other factors that are thought to shape how type 2 diabetes is frequently affected by cognitive impairment, such as dementia .

An investigation into older Canadians living in British Columbia revealed that systolic blood pressure, a low score in tests for gait and balance and a patient reporting their own poor health were all statistically significant in the relationship between diabetes and cognitive impairment.

The study, published in the journal Neuropsychology, revealed that although these factors may not actually cause cognitive problems, their very presence can alert doctors that such problems may exist or soon develop. Roger Dixon, co-author of the study, said "Awareness of the link between diabetes and cognition could help people realize how important it is to manage this disease - and to motivate them to do so."

He added, "It's important to pay attention to the health beliefs of older adults, not because they are necessarily accurate or valid indicators of specific health status, but because they might track overall health."
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