LONDON, June 15 — New UK research has found that people with type 2 diabetes may have an increased risk of developing Parkinson's disease later in life, and the risk may be even higher for younger people and those with diabetes complications.
Carried out by researchers at University College London (UCL), the large-scale study looked at data taken from a nationwide hospital database in England over a 12-year period.
During this time the team identified more than two million patients who were admitted to the hospital for type 2 diabetes for the first time.
The researchers then compared this group to more than six million people without diabetes who were admitted to a hospital for a range of minor procedures such as sprains, varicose veins, appendectomy and hip replacement.
They found that 14,252 of more than two million patients with type 2 diabetes also had a diagnosis of Parkinson's disease during a later hospital admission, and 20,878 of the more than six million patients without diabetes were later diagnosed with Parkinson's.
After analysing the data and taking into account other influencing factors, such as age, sex, frequency of hospital admissions, and conditions known to mimic Parkinson's disease, the researchers found that those with type 2 diabetes had a 31 per cent greater risk of a later diagnosis of Parkinson's disease than those without diabetes.
In addition, the results suggest that the risk of being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease later in life was even higher for younger diabetics. The team found patients who had diabetes by the age of 25 to 44 had a four-fold greater risk of developing Parkinson's disease than those without diabetes in the same age group.
Patients who had complications from diabetes were also a higher-risk group, with a 49 per cent greater risk of developing Parkinson's disease than those without diabetes.
In comparison, those with diabetes but without complications were 30 per cent more likely to develop Parkinson's than those without the disease.
“Our study examined data on a large portion of the English population and found a strong link between these two seemingly different diseases,” said study author Thomas T. Warner. “Whether it is genetics that may play a role in the development of these diseases or they have similar pathways to development needs to be investigated further.”
“Restoring the brain's ability to use insulin could potentially have a protective effect on the brain,” added Warner. “It is possible that a link between type 2 diabetes and Parkinson's could affect future diagnosis and treatment of these diseases.”
The findings can be found published online in Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. — AFP-Relaxnews