Dr. Eszter Vamos, Senior Researcher at Imperial College London, speaks exclusively to Express.co.uk. “It’s never too late or too early to reduce your risk of dementia,” she said. “Our research in people with diabetes found that while it is never too late to take action, mid-life (usually defined as 45 to 64 years of age) is very important in reducing the risk of dementia.” Diabetes is already a risk factor for dementia, but Dr. Vamos found that higher blood pressure and cholesterol levels further increased the risk.
The results showed that changes in blood pressure differed between those who developed dementia and those who did not.
People with higher blood pressure levels earlier in life were more likely to develop dementia.
In addition, it was found that over the entire 20 year period, people with type 2 diabetes who had dementia were generally higher than those without type.
Dr. Commenting on the data, Vamos said: “Our results underscore the importance of careful early management of cardiometabolic factors such as blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels in people with type 2 diabetes.
“Regular check-ups and comprehensive management of potential risk factors early on could help reduce the risk of dementia.”
Dr. Vamos continued, “Although this study cannot confirm any causal relationships, these results show that blood pressure and other cardiometabolic factors can contribute to the development of dementia up to two decades before diagnosis.”
Another interesting finding was that 11 to 19 years before she was diagnosed with dementia, her blood pressure dropped sharply.
In addition, the diabetic group who later developed dementia had a decrease in body weight up to 11 years before their diagnosis.
When asked why this would be so, Dr. Vamos Express.co.uk why this would be.
“Previous research has shown that weight and blood pressure often decrease in the early stages of dementia, years before it is diagnosed,” said Dr. Vamos.
“These changes could be the result of dementia itself, due to gradual changes in behavior such as diet, reduced caloric intake, and physical activity.”
The results of the study by Dr. Vamos show the importance of keeping blood pressure and cholesterol levels under control to reduce the risk of dementia.
Diabetes UK’s Director of Research, Dr. Elizabeth Robertson said that “for the first time researchers have uncovered a pattern of changes in people with type 2 diabetes that are associated with dementia”.
Becoming aware of these risk factors – high blood pressure and high cholesterol – is “the best possible care” for people with type 2 diabetes.
Dementia UK advises everyone, whether or not you have diabetes, to eat healthy, stay active, reduce alcohol consumption and not smoke.
A healthy lifestyle is the best preventative tool to reduce the risk of illness.
Dr. Vamos presented its results to the scientific community on Tuesday, April 27, 2021.