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Vascular Markers Linked to Cognitive Decline in Diabetes

Decline associated with stroke and subclinical markers of macrovascular disease

Vascular Markers Linked to Cognitive Decline in Diabetes

THURSDAY, April 18 (HealthDay News) -- Stroke and subclinical markers of macrovascular disease are associated with cognitive decline in older adults with type 2 diabetes, according to a study published online April 11 in Diabetes Care.

Insa Feinkohl, from the University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom, and colleagues measured signs of macrovascular disease in 831 cognitively healthy older adults with type 2 diabetes. Subjects underwent seven neuropsychological tests at baseline and after four years. Lifetime cognitive change was estimated by adjustment for vocabulary.

The researchers found a significant association between measures of cognitive decline and stroke, N-terminal probrain natriuretic peptide, ankle brachial index, and carotid intima-media thickness. There was a significant association between stroke and increased estimated lifetime cognitive decline, as well as between subclinical markers and actual four-year decline. Adjusting for vascular risk factors had little effect. There was no association found between measures of cognitive decline and non-stroke vascular events.

"Stroke and subclinical markers of cardiac stress and generalized atherosclerosis are associated with cognitive decline in older patients with type 2 diabetes," Feinkohl and colleagues conclude.

The study was funded in part by Pfizer.

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