Background: Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is a chronic diabetes complication. People with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) have two times the risk for dementia, suggesting it is a new chronic diabetes complication.

Objective: Evaluate the association of DR with cognitive performance in a T2DM population.

Methods: Cross-sectional study with 400 T2DM adults from whom socio-demographic, clinical, laboratory data, screening test for depression symptoms [Patient Health Questionaire-9 (PHQ-9) ], Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) , Semantic Verbal Fluency test, Trail Making test A and B, Word Memory test were collected and performed. All cognitive test scores were converted into Global Cognition z-Score [GCS (z) ]. The association between GCS (z) < 0 with DR was performed using backward multivariate binary logistic regression model adjusted forage ≥ 65 years, school years ≤ 6 years, DM duration ≥ 10 years, depression symptoms score > 9 at PHQ-9, arterial hypertension, physical activity, diabetic retinopathy, macular edema and cardiovascular disease.

Results: After exclusions, the 251 eligible patients were 56.6% female, mean age 61.1 (±9.8) years, DM duration of 12.6 (±8.9) years and 7.6 (±4.2) years of school education. DR prevalence was 46.5%. Multivariate Binaric Logistic Regression Model showed an association between DR and GCS (z) < 0, with odds ratio (CI95%) of 2.50 (1.18-5.34) , adjusted for age, low education level, arterial hypertension and depression symptoms [OD and CI95%respectively: 5.46 (2.42-12.34) ; 12.19 (5.62-26.46) ; 2.55 (0.88-7.39) ; 3.53 (1.55-8.07) ].

Conclusion: In this T2DMpopulation, having DR increased the chance for worse cognitive performance even when adjusted for age, low education level, presence of arterial hypertension, and depression symptoms.


A. R. A. Faria: None.

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