Diabetes is a risk factor for cognitive impairment, and disease duration is associated with geriatric decline and functional disabilities.
This study aimed to examine the association of diabetes duration with domain-specific cognitive impairment in elderly.
A total of 3,142 participants from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from the period between 2011 and 2014 were included. We assessed cognitive function using the Digit Symbol Substitution Test (DSST), the CERAD Word Learning (CERAD-WL) test, the CERAD Delayed Recall (CERAD-DR) test and animal fluency (AF) test.
After adjusting for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education level, and annual household income, we found that diabetes with a duration longer than 20 years were at 3.32-fold increased risk of DSST impairment (OR = 3.32, 95% CI: 1.95 to 5.67), 1.72-fold increased risk of CERAD-WL impairment (OR = 1.72, 95% CI: 1.13 to 2.62), and 1.76-fold increased risk of AF impairment (OR = 1.76, 95% CI: 1.23 to 2.53), compared with those with no diabetes. Associations were generally stronger in women than in men. Participants with diabetes, who were diagnosed at 50-59 years old were at increased risk of DSST impairment, CERAD-WL impairment, CERAD-DR impairment, and AF impairment per 5 years longer duration of diabetes.
Longer diabetes duration was associated with the increased risk of cognitive impairment, especially in processing speed and attention. The presence of chronic kidney disease was associated with the increased risk of DSST impairment.