Type 2 diabetes and high blood glucose linked to poor cognition in middle-later life

16 July 2015

New research lead by Professor Kaarin Anstey, Director of the Centre for Ageing, Health and Wellbeing suggests that people with Type 2 diabetes have an increased risk of poorer cognition than adults without diabetes. With the findings reinforcing the need for management of diabetes risk factors in midlife to promote cognitive health and reduce risk of later dementia.

The CRAHW research team analysed the medical records of 4547 Australians who were participating In the Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle (AusDiab) study, the largest Australian longitudinal population-based study examining the natural history of diabetes. The participants were followed over a 12 year period and their medical data was collected throughout including glucose levels. Memory and processing speed test scores were collected at 12 years.

The research is timely as is coincides with National Diabetes Week in Australia (July 12-18, 2015) where a new report has been released by Diabetes Australia suggesting that many Australians are unaware of potential medical complications that can arise from the disease if not managed appropriately, including blindness, kidney damage and even limb amputations. This new CRAHW research now suggests that memory problems and poor cognition occurs at younger ages than previously thought and in adults with high glucose levels who are not diabetic. This reiterates a need for further research in this very important area of population and preventative health.

Read the full research paper via the alzres website.

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