Introduction: Diabetes is a significant risk factor for cognitive impairment. Therefore, early identification of cognitive impairment in diabetic patients is particularly important. The aim of this study was to assess the relationship between Cardiometabolic index (CMI) and cognitive function in a diabetic population. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted by collecting information from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2011–2014. Multiple linear regression models were used to investigate the correlation between CMI and low cognitive function in a diabetic population. Threshold effects analysis and fitted smoothing curves were used to describe the nonlinear links. Interaction tests and subgroup analyses were also performed. Results: A total of 1,050 people participated in this study, including 561 men and 489 women. In the fully corrected model, CMI was positively associated with low cognitive performance as assessed by CERAD Word List Learning Test (CERAD W-L), Animal Fluency Test (AFT), and Digit Symbol Substitution Test (DSST) (OR = 1.37 [1.14, 1.72], p = 7.4 × 10−3), (OR = 1.21 [1.04, 1.51], p = 1.26 × 10−2), and (OR = 1.27 [1.08, 1.63], p = 2.53 × 10−2). Our study found that diabetic patients with higher CMI were at greater risk of developing low cognitive function. The effect of the subgroups on the positive association of CMI with cognitive impairment was not significant. A non-linear association between low cognitive performance and CMI was determined by CERAD W-L, AFT, and DSST (log-likelihood ratio <5 × 10−2). In addition, our also study found that CMI was a better predictor of cognitive impairment in diabetes than weight-adjusted waist index (WWI). Conclusion: Increased CMI is associated with an increased risk of cognitive impairment in people with diabetes. CMI can be used as a new anthropometric measure for predicting cognitive impairment in diabetes, with stronger predictive power than WWI.

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