Doubled risk of dementia for 1 in 5 Australians with diabetes

Doubled risk of dementia for 1 in 5 Australians with diabetes

World Diabetes Day Friday 14 November 2014

Alzheimer’s Australia Vic launched a Dementia and Diabetes Toolkit on World Diabetes Day to support the estimated one in five older Australians with diabetes who have an increased risk of developing cognitive impairment or dementia.

Around 280 Australians are diagnosed with diabetes each day with population studies suggesting people with type 2 diabetes, on average, have double the risk of developing dementia compared with people who do not have the condition.

Professor Nicola Lautenschlager, Professor of Psychiatry of Old Age at the University of Melbourne, who contributed to the development of the toolkit, said we know that people who have diabetes and dementia often have more difficulties managing daily diabetes tasks, such as measuring blood glucose levels, injecting insulin and preparing meals, which unless managed effectively, may lead to an increased risk of diabetic complications.

“The toolkit addresses the challenges and impact dementia has on diabetes management and provides tips and strategies on how people living with diabetes can reduce their risk of developing dementia,” Professor Lautenschlager said. 

Dr David Sykes, General Manager Learning and Development at Alzheimer’s Australia Vic said acknowledgment, awareness and understanding of dementia and diabetes, and the link between the two, is imperative in achieving better health outcomes for people living with the conditions.

“Ultimately what we have achieved with the Dementia and Diabetes Toolkit is the ability for families, carers and friends to best support people living with dementia and diabetes in realising better health outcomes.

“The toolkit has achieved this by presenting a range of resources addressing the challenges associated with both conditions, and the measures that can be taken to reduce the risk of developing dementia for those currently living with diabetes,” Dr Sykes said.

The Dementia and Diabetes Toolkit contains information on understanding dementia and diabetes, how to support someone living with these conditions, a case study, self-test questions, and sources of further information.

The resource includes the following, available for download:

The Dementia and Chronic Conditions Series toolkits are designed to improve support for people living with dementia and other chronic conditions in light of the evidence that a number of chronic conditions are associated with the development of cognitive impairment and dementia.

The Dementia and Diabetes Toolkit is available via

Those seeking assistance or further information can call 03 9815 7800.


In Victoria almost 78,000 people are living with dementia.

Alzheimer’s Australia Vic is the charity representing people with all forms of dementia in Victoria. As the peak body, we provide specialised dementia information, education and support services.

Call our National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500 or visit

Media contact: Fleur Jacobs 9816 5745 / 0427 757 434 / or

Sam Watson 9816 5736 / 0419 815 178 /