Dementia link to blood sugar level

A new study has linked your blood sugar levels to dementia risk, even if you don’t suffer from diabetes. Is your blood sugar putting you at risk?

A new study, undertaken by the Group Health, University of Washington (UW) has found that higher blood sugar levels are associated with an increased risk of dementia, despite your diabetes status.

The data was collected over five years from 2000 Group Health patients, aged 65 and over, who were participating in the Adult Changes in Thought (ACT) study. It looked at information from participants’ visits to the Group Health providers as well as the research visits undertaken every second year. This gave an average of 17 blood sugar readings per participant over the five-year period.

The study found that in participants without diabetes, those with an average blood glucose level of 115 milligrams per decilitre (mg/dl) were 18 per cent more likely to get dementia than those with an average blood glucose level of 100 mg/dl. For participants with diabetes, those who had an average blood glucose level of 190 mg/dl were 40 per cent more likely to get dementia than those who had an average blood glucose level of 160 mg/dl.

First author Paul K. Crane, MD, MPH, explained, “The most interesting finding was that every incrementally higher glucose level was associated with a higher risk of dementia in people who did not have diabetes. There was no threshold value for lower glucose values where risk levelled off.”

So should you start eating less sugar or lower glycemic index (GI) foods? This particular study did not look at whether lowering your blood sugar levels also lowered your risk of dementia, but the researchers did suggest that those concerned might incorporate walking into their daily routine, as this has been shown to decrease dementia risk. Lowering your blood sugar levels isn’t a bad idea anyway, so if it turns out that it does help to prevent dementia in later studies then you’ll already be ahead of the game.

Read more about this study at the ScienceDaily website.



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