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EHRs Now Predict a Connection Between Type 2 Diabetes and Dementia

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Use of electronic health records (EHRs) has begun to skyrocket in the past few years. Currently, 70 percent of family physicians have adopted them in their practices, and that number is projected to rise to 80 percent by the end of 2013.

Use of electronic health records (EHRs) has begun to skyrocket in the past few years. Currently, 70 percent of family physicians have adopted them in their practices, and that number is projected to rise to 80 percent by the end of 2013.

EHRs and predictive healthEHRs aren’t just a great way to keep health records organized for patients and doctors. They also can provide valuable analytics. According to a recent study published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology Journal, researchers can now predict specific risk factors and develop a predictive score to track the risk of developing dementia in patients with type 2 diabetes.

The 20-point risk score, the first to be developed specifically for diabetic patients, is based on each patient’s personal history. Microvascular disease, diabetic foot problems, cardiovascular disease, age, depression, acute metabolic events and other health factors each contribute a point to the score. For patients with a score between 12 and 19, the risk of developing dementia was 73.3 percent.

The findings represent a good example of how this emerging area of research using EHR data can help reduce unnecessary healthcare costs and improve care that can keep patients healthier for longer.

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