People with diabetes are twice as likely to develop Alzheimer's, according to a new study in Japan.
The study in Japan included more than 1,000 men and women over the age of 60. The study showed that participants with diabetes were 1.75 times more likely to develop other forms of dementia then the other participants.
This trend is pertinent to people who had pre-diabetes, or an elevated level of blood sugar, as they were also found to be at a higher risk for developing dementia.
"It's really important for the public to understand that diabetes is a significant risk factor for all of these types of dementia," says Rachel Whitmer, Ph.D., an epidemiologist in the research division of Kaiser Permanente Northern California, according to Health.com. Whitmer was not involved in the study but does research on Alzheimer’s.
Some researchers believe that the reason behind this correlation may be because diabetes is known to cause vascular disease, which in turn can disrupt oxygen flow to the brain as well as other organs. This is only a theory at this point, as researchers continue to research the causing factors of Alzheimer's.
In light of this new study doctors urge diabetes patients to keep their blood sugar controlled while regularly getting tested for high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
According to the American Diabetes Association, 8.3 percent, or 25.8 million Americans have diabetes.
The current study was published in Neurology.