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Diabetes & Alzheimer's Disease: What's the Link? Part 2

Posted Sep 21 2011 3:01am
Diabetes is not a good thing to get.  Uncontrolled or even poorly controlled diabetes can shorten one's life by 6 years while increasing one's risk for strokes, heart attacks, kidney failure, blindness, amputations & erectile dysfunction .  And in a very small study published in January earlier this year , the authors noted that insulin resistance might be a marker for Alzheimer's disease.  Being a lumper & not a splitter, I was not overly surprised by yesterday's release of a prospective study linking diabetes to dementia .

The authors followed over a thousand community-dwelling dementia-free participants >60yo for 15yrs.  Fasting glucose & oral glucose tolerance tests were performed at baseline.  While the former was not associated with all-cause dementia, Alzheimer's disease, or vascular dementia, the latter showed a strong correlation when abnormal.  Of course the next question is how abnormal is abnormal?  Those at lowest risk for developing all-cause dementia or Alzheimer's disease had a 2 hour post-prandial glucose <120mg/dL compared to those in the 140-198mg/dL range.  Risk for vascular dementia was increased in those with 2 hour post-prandial glucose >198mg/dL.
What's the moral of this study?  Avoid getting diabetes at all costs.   Change your lifestyle for the better .  Stop smoking.   Get physically active regularly .  And eat better - nothing controversial, you know what's good for you and what's not.  Choose to get healthy.

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