Aims: Obese type 2 diabetes and traumatic brain injury are associated with persistent peripheral and neuro-inflammation, respectively. We tested whether adult type 2 diabetes increased the hazard rate for neurodegeneration complications following traumatic brain injury.
Methods: Retrospective chart review of patients treated at the Veterans Affairs New Jersey Healthcare System between 2016-2019 and having a diagnosis of prior traumatic brain injury was performed in adult veterans, age 50 years or older. Cox proportional hazards regression analysis was used to identify risk factors predictive of an increased risk of neurodegeneration, i.e. worsening major depression, dementia or Parkinson's disease following traumatic brain injury.
Results: Type 2 diabetes predicted a nearly three-fold increased hazard ratio (HR = 2.95, 95% CI 1.15-7.56, P =0.02) for the occurrence of worsening major depression, dementia or Parkinson's disease in eighty adults age 50 years or older who had experienced prior traumatic brain injury. After adjusting for other covariates, hypertension (HR= 4.15, 95% CI 1.21-14.29, P =0.02) was significant and body mass index (HR=1.14, 95% CI 0.99-1.30; P=0.06) modestly significant predictors of the risk for the time to first occurrence of the composite neurodegenerative outcome.
Conclusion: Type 2 diabetes, hypertension and higher body mass index increase the hazard for the occurrence of worsening depression, Parkinson's disease and dementia following traumatic brain injury in middle-aged and older adults.
Keywords: Hypertension; Neurodegeneration; Traumatic brain injury; Type 2 diabetes mellitus.