Background: Diabetes affects approximately 24.4% of older adults in the United States and increases the risk of cognitive dysfunction and future dementia. Patients with cognitive dysfunction may find it harder to manage their diabetes and have more complications such as hypoglycemia. Yearly cognitive screening is recommended for all older adults with diabetes but may not be widely conducted.

Methods: We performed cognitive screening with the Mini-Cog test for a subset of patients with diabetes seen in Endocrine Clinics in one large healthcare system in 2020-21. We used a retrospective chart review to compare patient screening results between Endocrine (Endo) , Geriatric (Geri) and multidisciplinary Endo-Geriatric practices (Geri-Endo) . We used Chi-square tests to examine differences between clinic cohorts and a multivariate logistic regression to predict risk of cognitive dysfunction. We adjusted for age, ethnicity, sex, type of diabetes, Sulfonylurea (SU) use, ACE inhibitors (ACEI) / Angiotensin Receptor Blocker (ARB) use, smoking history, statin use, and BMI.

Findings: Among 198 patients screened (Endo=80, Geri=32, Geri-Endo=86) , those seen in Geri-endo (40.7%) and Geri (31.3%) were more likely to have lower Mini-COG scores (lower scores suggest worse cognition) as compared to those in Endo (6.3%) (p<.0001) . Patients in Endo and Geri-Endo had longer duration of diabetes, were more likely to use insulin and had higher incidence of documented hypoglycemia. Higher age > 75 years (p=0.0105) , previous CV events (p=0.0006) and BMI <30 (p=0.0115) were significantly associated with lower Mini-COG scores.

Conclusion: Our study shows that cognitive screening can help identify older adults at risk for dementia in diabetes clinic. Patients with older age, previous CV events and lower BMI may be at higher risk for cognitive dysfunction. Older adults should be screened yearly for cognition as part of routine diabetes care.


D. Gupta: None. H. Wilhalme: None. G. Sauder: None. T. Moin: None.


NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Science (NCATS) , UCLA CTSI (UL1TR001881)

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