A study published recently in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that higher blood glucose levels may increase the likelihood of dementia. This statement holds true even for those who do not have diabetes but consistently exhibit higher than average blood sugar tests. If you or someone you care about is having trouble managing their diabetes, remember that our services can provide help with daily living that increases the ability to blood sugar effectively (for example: medication reminders, assistance with food preparation, increased opportunity to do active things for some clients, etc.).
The NEJM study was comprised of 2067 participants who did not have dementia when the research began. Glucose levels were monitored for a median of 6.8 years. Among people who do not have diabetes, a blood sugar of 115 mg/dl correlates with an 18% increased risk of developing dementia compared to people with a blood sugar of 100 mg/dl. Among people with diabetes, a blood sugar of 190 mg/dl correlates with a 40% increased likelihood of developing dementia compared to diabetics with a blood sugar of 160 mg/dl. All in all, 1/4 of the total participants developed dementia during the study period.
While the study does not prove that higher glucose levels are the cause of dementia, it does suggest strongly that those who control their blood sugar are at less risk. Issues related to controlling blood sugar such as a healthier lifestyle, better eating habits, and staying physically active may also contribute to the results of these findings.
Source: Crane P, Walker R, Hubbard R, et al. Glucose levels and risk of dementia. New England Journal of Medicine. 2013; 369: 540-548.