Diabetes and Cognitive Decline

It has long been established that having diabetes raises your risk for dementia (impaired mental functioning) as you age. Previous studies have found that both diabetes and depression, as well as having diabetes complications, can raise this risk.

A recent study has discovered something new and striking. Using several different methods for cognitive assessment, the researchers found that higher blood glucose levels predict greater cognitive decline in the future — even if your levels aren’t high enough yet to constitute diabetes.

The aim of the study was to evaluate longitudinal associations between HbA1clevels, diabetes status and subsequent cognitive decline over a 10 year follow-up period. The study comprised 5189 participants (55.1% women, mean age 65.6 ± 9.4 years) with baseline HbA1c levels ranging from 15.9 to 126.3 mmol/mol (3.6–13.7%). The mean follow-up duration was 8.1 ± 2.8 years 

Significant longitudinal associations between HbA1c levels, diabetes status and long-term cognitive decline were observed in this study. Future studies are required to determine the effects of maintaining optimal glucose control on the rate of cognitive decline in people with diabetes.

Springer Link: HbA1c, diabetes and cognitive decline: the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing

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