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Psychogeriatrics. 2018 May;18(3):216-223. doi: 10.1111/psyg.12309. Epub 2018 Feb 8.

Low education and lack of spousal relationship are associated with dementia in older adults with diabetes mellitus in Nigeria.

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Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria.
Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria.
Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria.
Department of Chemical Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria.
Department of Haematology and Blood Transfusion, Faculty of Medicine, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria.
Department of Psychiatry, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria, Nigeria.



The relationship between dementia and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) in older adults is well established in the literature. However, there have been few studies on this relationship in older adults living in low- and middle-income countries, and most demographic projections predict that older adult population will increase substantially in these regions by 2050.


In this study, older adults with T2DM attending a tertiary health facility were examined and compared with community-dwelling older adults without T2DM. The participants were assessed using the Consortium to Establish Registry for Alzheimer's Disease, the Stick Design Test, the 30-item Geriatric Depression Scale, and the Instrumental Activities of Daily Living Scale. Additionally, all the participants had a physical examination, including assessment of glycated haemoglobin, fasting blood glucose, lipid profile, and HIV status. A consensus diagnosis of dementia was made based on the criteria for dementia in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition, and the International Classification for Diseases, 10th edition. The data were analyzed using SPSS version 20 for Windows.


This study included 224 diabetic patients and 116 controls. A total of 27 diabetic patients (12.1%) had dementia, 19 of whom were women. Of the 27 diabetic patients with dementia, 25 patients (92.6%) had Alzheimer's disease and 2 patients (7.4%) had mixed dementia (vascular dementia and Alzheimer's disease). Only one person among the controls had Alzheimer's type dementia. Dementia in the diabetic patients was significantly associated with advancing age, female gender, education level, duration of diabetes, and absence of a spouse.


Dementia is common in older adults with T2DM in this low-resource setting, and the risk factors for dementia were similar to those reported in earlier studies in Western societies.


Nigeria; dementia; diabetes mellitus; older adults

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