Washington: Researchers have created the first risk score that predicts the 10-year individualized dementia risk for patients with type 2 diabetes.
Scientists at Kaiser Permanente and the University Medical Centre Utrecht in the Netherlands developed and validated the Diabetes-Specific Dementia Risk Score by examining data from nearly 30,000 patients with type 2 diabetes aged 60 and older over a 10-year period.
They found eight factors that were most predictive of dementia- including microvascular disease, diabetic foot and cerebrovascular disease - and assigned each a value related to their association with dementia to create an overall score for patients.
The researchers found that individuals in the lowest category of the 20-point risk score had a 5.3 percent chance of developing dementia over the next 10 years, while those in the highest category had a 73 percent chance. Compared with those in the lowest category, those in the highest were 37 times more likely to get dementia, according to the study.
All predictors included in the Diabetes-Specific Dementia Risk Score are easy to obtain and based primarily on medical history, so the risk score can be calculated during a routine medical visit or with electronic health records.
"This risk score is crucial for the care of patients with diabetes since they are particularly susceptible to dementia. It provides clinicians with an easy and efficient tool to assess their patients` chances of developing dementia over the next 10 years," the study`s lead author, Rachel Whitmer said.
The study is published in the journal Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology.