Hypoglycemic & hyperglycemic events increase dementia risk in adults with type 1 diabetes
Hypoglycemic, hyperglycemic events increase dementia risk in adults with type 1 diabetes
According to a study from Neurology, there is a correlation between severe hyperglycemic and hypoglycemic events and an increased risk of dementia.
Rachel Whitmer, PhD at the University of California Davis School of Medicine, said ‘People with type 1 diabetes are living longer than before, which may place them at risk of conditions such as dementia. If we can potentially decrease their risk of dementia by controlling their blood sugar levels, that could have beneficial effects for individuals and public health overall.’
This study consisted of 2,821 type 1 diabetics, whose mean age was 56. 12% of the patients had a history of severe hyperglycemia, 14% had a history of severe hypoglycemia, and 3% had a history of both hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia. The patients were followed for a dementia diagnosis until September 2015. Researchers also noted any diabetic-related ER/hospital visits based on medical records.
After about 7 years, researchers followed up and found that 5.4% of patients developed dementia. Patients with a history of hyperglycemic events had more than double the risk for dementia than those without. Patients with a history of hypoglycemic events were found to have a 66% greater risk for dementia. Patients with a history of both hyperglycemic and hypoglycemic events had a six times greater risk for dementia.
Dementia incidence rates were also studied. The rate of dementia for those with hyperglycemic events is 79.6 cases per 1,000 people, compared to 13.4 cases for people without these events. The rate of dementia for those with hypoglycemic events is 26.5 cases per 1,000 people, compared to 13.2 cases among people without these events. The rate of dementia for patients with both hyper- and hypoglycemia is 98.5 per 1,000 people, compared to 12.8 for people who did not experience these events.
Whitmer said, ‘Our findings suggest that exposure to severe glycemic events may have long-term consequences on brain health and should be considered additional motivation for people with diabetes to avoid severe glycemic events throughout their lifetime.’
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