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Landmark Study Shows Link Between Chronic High Blood Sugar and Cognitive Impairment

Posted Dec 18 2008 8:12pm

It's really tough to keep up with the mounds of convincing research that continue to pour in, which show the link between eating too much sugar or refined carbs and developing one health problem or another.

Just this week, yet another landmark study--this one in the Journal of Nutrition, Health and Aging-- looked at nearly 2,000 post-menopausal women (1,983 females with an average age of 67) over a period of four years and found that chronically elevated blood sugar is associated with an increased risk of developing either mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or dementia.

Now, one of the things that's interesting about this study is that most of these women didn't have diabetes.

The authors conclude, “This finding supports the hypothesis that abnormal glycemic control is linked to an increased risk of developing cognitive impairment and dementia in elderly women.”

"We already know there’s a connection between diabetes and cognitive problems,” says lead author Kristine Yaffe, M.D., a staff physician at the San Francisco VA Medical Center and a professor of psychiatry, neurology, and epidemiology at the University of California, San Francisco.

“We were interested in what this measurement would tell us about a group of women with and without diabetes who were followed for four years. Nobody has really looked at that before.”

The study interpreted the results thusly: "We found an association between HbA1C level and risk of developing MCI or dementia in postmenopausal osteoporotic women primarily without diabetes. Our findings support the hypothesis that glucose dysregulation is a predictor for cognitive impairment."

Thanks to Innovations Report for the lead on this story.

FYI, Dr. Yaffe was involved in another fascinating study that recently came out, which showed that brain exercise may reverse pre-dementia decline, according to Genetic Engineering News.

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