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Diabetes and Alzheimer’s Disease

People with Diabetes are at Higher Risk of Developing Alzheimer’s Disease

Published January 14,  2014

A latest nationwide study conducted in Finland reveals that people with Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) are more likely to have a history of diabetes. Scientists believe that diabetes and AD may share some pathological features. Impairment of insulin signaling, inflammation, and oxidative stress seen in diabetes may also promote the pathology of AD.

Tolppanen and team conducted a study to investigate if individuals with AD were more likely to have a history of diabetes than the general aged population. The team of researchers checked the data on reimbursed diabetes (both type 1 and 2) and AD medication, for 28,093 individuals. After thoroughly studying the data, the researchers noted that prevalence of diabetes as estimated through prescribed anti diabetic medications, was much higher for people suffering from AD, than those who were not. (See Figure 1) The association of diabetes and AD was even stronger for people who had diabetes diagnosed at midlife.

Figure 1: Prevalence of Diabetes Among People With and Without AD



The researchers reported that the findings of their study were consistent with previous studies that have demonstrated a link between diabetes and AD. The results of the new study once again confirm that people with diabetes are at higher risk of developing AD.


  1. Tolppanen AM, Lavikainen P, Solomon A, et al. History of medically treated diabetes and risk of Alzheimer disease in a nationwide case-control study. Diabetes Care. 2013;36(7):2015-2019.
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