Cognitive Function in Children and Subsequent Type 2 Diabetes

  1. Gunilla M. Olsson, PHD12,
  2. Anna-Lena Hulting, MD, PHD3 and
  3. Scott M. Montgomery, BSC, PHD456
  1. 1Neuroscience, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden
  2. 2Public Health, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden
  3. 3Endocrinology, Metabolism and Diabetes, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden
  4. 4Clinical Epidemiology Unit, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm
  5. 5Clinical Research Centre, Örebro University Hospital, Örebro, Sweden
  6. 6Primary Care and Social Medicine, Imperial College, London, U.K
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. Gunilla Maria Olsson, Uppsala University, Neuroscience/Pharmacology, BMC, Box 593, SE-751 24 Uppsala, Sweden. E-mail: gunilla.olsson{at}


OBJECTIVE—To assess whether a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes by age 42 years is associated with prior cognitive deficits in childhood.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS—Logistic regression estimated type 2 diabetes risk among 9,113 members of the 1958 British birth cohort of the National Child Development Study (NCDS). Associations with type 2 diabetes were estimated for general ability and reading comprehension assessments at age 11 years, modeled using SD units. Adjustment was for markers of early-life exposures, social and material family characteristics, sex, and disability, with further adjustment for BMI at age 7 years.

RESULTS—Adjusted odds ratios (95% CIs) for type 2 diabetes (n = 69) are 0.67 (0.51–0.87) for general ability and 0.58 (0.44–0.77) for reading comprehension. Neither additional adjustment for BMI, nor limiting the definition of type 2 diabetes to onset after age 33 years altered the associations substantially.

CONCLUSIONS—Impaired cognitive function may precede clinical onset of type 2 diabetes.


  • Published ahead of print at on 14 December 2007. DOI: 10.2337/dc07-1399.

    The costs of publication of this article were defrayed in part by the payment of page charges. This article must therefore be hereby marked “advertisement” in accordance with 18 U.S.C Section 1734 solely to indicate this fact.

    • Accepted December 7, 2007.
    • Received July 19, 2007.
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  1. Diabetes Care vol. 31 no. 3 514-516
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