Early dementia, diabetes linked

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Diabetics are at risk of developing dementia earlier and dying sooner, according to research in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

Investigators at Australia's Curtin University analyzed hospital and death records for people in western Australia who developed dementia from 1990 to 2005. Diabetics developed dementia an average of 2.2 years earlier than non-diabetics, they found.

Those with diabetes and dementia died an average of 2.6 years earlier than non-diabetics.

It remains unclear why diabetes is a risk factor for dementia, the researchers noted.