High blood sugar in diabetics, non-diabetics increases dementia risk

diabetes illus250x03 High blood sugar in diabetics, non diabetics increases dementia riskHigh blood sugar levels – even in people without diabetes – put people at greater risk of dementia, according to a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Dementia is a general term to describe a decline in mental ability that is debilitating enough to impact daily life activities. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia. Dementia is a potential complication for people with type 2 diabetes. Other complications of diabetes include cardiovascular disease, amputations due to neuropathy, and blindness.

Researchers looked at more than 2,000 Group Health Patients age 65 and older and found that diabetics whose blood sugar levels are higher stand a 40 percent greater risk of developing dementia compared to those with lower blood sugar levels. People who did not have diabetes but had elevated blood sugar levels had an 18 percent greater risk of dementia compared to non-diabetics with lower blood sugar levels.

Researchers recommend that people not only follow a diet with a lower “glycemic index” as well as exercise more to help keep blood sugar levels under control. People with high cholesterol taking cholesterol-lowering statin medication, however, may have to work harder to keep their blood sugar down.

A recent study has found that statins, and in particular the widely prescribed Lipitor, can increase blood sugar levels and put users at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Postmenopausal women are at greater risk, especially those who are not overweight.

Source: Science Recorder