Diabetes in middle age – dementia after 20 years

American scientists found that middle-aged people who suffer from diabetes mellitus are much more likely to develop cognitive dysfunctions and their memory abilities weaken over the next 20 years compared to those with normal self-regulation blood sugar levels.

The results of a study were recently published in the journal “Annals of Internal Medicine”.

The scientists used data from the ARIC study, which followed the health status of almost 15,800 people aged 48 to 67 between 1987 and 2013.

As a result, it was found that cognitive decline was 19% more common in people with poorly controlled diabetes.

Also, a small decline in cognitive function was characteristic of people with well-controlled diabetes and those with pre-diabetes.

The diagnosis of diabetes was determined by the participants’ own doctors, by the drugs they used to normalize blood sugar, or by hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels of 6.5% or more.

Undiagnosed diabetes, prediabetes, and how well diabetes was controlled were determined based on hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels alone.

Based on the results of the study, the scientists came to the conclusion that diabetes accelerates the normal process of brain aging by an average of 5 years.

For example, the decline in cognitive functions and memory of a 60-year-old diabetic is comparable to that of a 65-year-old person who does not suffer from diabetes.

It is already known that being overweight and obese significantly increases the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes.

Elizabeth Selvin from the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health – one of the scientists leading the study based on the results made the following conclusion – “If you want to have a clear mind at 70 years old age, proper nutrition and an active lifestyle are necessary from the age of 50”.

And if greater efforts are made to control and prevent diabetes, it will help prevent or delay the development of senile dementia in many people.

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