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We evaluated whether, among persons with type 2 diabetes: (1) impaired executive cognitive functioning (ECF) is more common than among people without diabetes; (2) ECF is associated with the capacity to engage in instrumental health-related behaviors; and (3) worse ECF is associated with increased health services utilization. A population-based sample of 1,063 older people was interviewed regarding medical history and health services utilization; participants were administered the Mini Mental State Exam and the Behavioral Dyscontrol Scale, a measure of ECF. Participants with diabetes performed more poorly on cognitive measures than those without diabetes. Among those with diabetes, lower ECF was associated with more outpatient care and with ever having been in a nursing home. Impaired behavioral self-regulation may affect the capacity to engage in behaviors that could improve clinical status, resulting in greater health services use. The findings suggest the possibility of a positive feedback loop, with ECF deficits adversely affecting adherence, in turn leading to greater cognitive impairment—an issue for future research.
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- Impairment of executive cognitive control in type 2 diabetes, and its effects on health-related behavior and use of health services
Richard F. Hamman
- Springer US