High Blood Sugar Levels Linked to Dementia

The Physicians Committee

High Blood Sugar Levels Linked to Dementia

August 9, 2013

High blood glucose levels may increase the risk of developing dementia, according to a new study in the New England Journal of Medicine. Researchers from the Adult Changes in Thought study followed 2,067 men and women aged 65 or older who were members of Group Health Cooperative in Washington state. Over a 6.8-year observation period, high blood sugar levels were associated with an increased likelihood of developing dementia. Compared with an average blood glucose value of 100 mg/dl, an average blood glucose of 115 mg/dl was associated with a 15 percent increased risk of developing dementia.

Prior studies show that diabetes is associated with increased risk of Alzheimer's disease. The new study shows an increased risk of dementia even in people without diabetes.

Crane PK, Walker R, Hubbard RA, et al. Glucose levels and risk of dementia. N Engl J Med. 2013;369:540-548.

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