London: A healthy lifestyle may reduce the risk of dementia in people who have type 2 diabetes (T2D), finds a new study.
The study found that individuals with T2D and an unhealthy lifestyle were much more likely to develop dementia than people without T2D and a very healthy lifestyle. However, a healthy lifestyle almost halved the likelihood of people with T2D developing dementia.
“Adhering to current dietary, physical activity and sleep recommendations is key to good health and it may contribute to a lower risk of dementia in people with diabetes,” said researcher Carlos Celis-Morales from the University of Glasgow.
“We have shown that following these healthy lifestyle guidelines also significantly reduces the increase in the risk of dementia experienced by people with diabetes,” Celis-Morales added.
For the study, presented at the annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) in Stockholm, the team tracked almost 450,000 participants of the UK Biobank study for the development of dementia.
The 445,364 participants (54.6 per cent female) had an average age of 55.6 years and were followed up for a median of 9.1 years. All were free of dementia at the start of this period.
Both T2D and an unhealthy lifestyle were associated with a higher risk of dementia. Those with T2D were 33 per cent more likely to develop dementia than those without T2D.
An unhealthy lifestyle was even more strongly associated with dementia. The participants with the least healthy lifestyles were 65 per cent more likely to develop dementia than those with the healthiest lifestyle.
Further analysis revealed that a healthy lifestyle appears to reduce the risk of dementia in those with T2D.
Individuals with diabetes and the healthiest lifestyles were 45 per cent less likely to develop dementia than those with diabetes and the unhealthiest lifestyles.