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Prediabetes In Younger People Might Cause A Higher Risk Of Dementia In Old Age

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According to a recent study, those who get prediabetes while younger are more likely to develop dementia in later life. When the levels of sugar in the blood are above normal but not high enough for a medical diagnosis of diabetes, it is said that the patient has prediabetes. Unfortunately, millions of Americans under 60 have prediabetes, and many are entirely unaware of it. 

According to researchers Jiaqi Hu and Elizabeth Selvin, professors of epidemiology, “Diabetes is linked with dementia risk, although the onset of diabetes can explain this risk.” Both of them are students at Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. 

As per new research published in Diabetologia, data obtained from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities research were analyzed. In four US counties—Forsyth County, North Carolina; Jackson, Mississippi; the outer reaches of Minneapolis; and Washington County, Maryland—people between the ages of 45 and 64 were enrolled.  

The study discovered that those who had type 2 diabetes around the age of 60 had a threefold increased risk of dementia later throughout their lives as compared to those who did not. The risk decreased but only a little if type 2 diabetes developed from prediabetes between the years of 60 and 69. 

“All of us experience brief rises in blood sugar. According to Dr. Andrew Freeman, head of cardiovascular wellness and prevention at National Jewish Health in Denver, “It goes up, then it goes down. He wasn’t a part of the investigation. 

Prediabetes and dementia were strongly correlated; however, this correlation was only shown in patients who also had diabetes. According to the above result, limiting the development of diabetes from prediabetes may help shield against dementia as people age. The findings were not shocking, according to Dr. Richard Isaacson, an expert on Alzheimer’s disease and a preventive neurologist at the Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases of Florida. 

According to US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, the majority of American adults—80%—who have prediabetes are entirely unaware of it. Nearly a third of them are between the ages of 18 and 44, which is rather young for someone to be acquiring a condition that puts them at extremely high risk for developing type 2 diabetes, severe cardiovascular problems, and vascular dementia when they get older. 

According to Alzheimer’s Association, 5.8 million Americans are thought to be living with Alzheimer’s disease and other related dementias. Although the precise link between diabetes and dementia is unknown, research suggests some potential paths. 

The heart and blood vessels are harmed by stroke and coronary artery disease, which are made more likely by diabetes. The brain’s damaged blood vessels could be a factor in cognitive decline.  

According to the organization, inflammation brought on by elevated blood sugar might also harm brain cells. Even those with type 2 diabetes in its early stages exhibit evidence of brain damage. According to research, type 2 diabetes significantly raises brain levels of beta-amyloid protein, a tell-tale indicator of Alzheimer’s disease. Prediabetes is referred to being a silent predator since it progresses and develops with no outward signs of illness. However, there are danger factors. The present research is not the first to discover a link between dementia and diabetes’ earlier onset. According to a 2021 British study, having diabetes more than ten years prior increased the chance of dementia by over 18 percent. 

Haemoglobin A1C (HbA1C) blood protein levels were linked to the early impacts of hyperglycemia on the brain. Researchers discovered that even those with diabetes for less than ten years exhibited memory problems that are normally linked to the hippocampus, a part of the brain. They discovered that those who had diabetes had smaller hippocampi than those who did not. Additionally, they found a correlation between the shrinkage of the hippocampi and blood levels of HbA1C, which raises the possibility that HbA1C might be utilized in predicting memory loss and/or the function of the hippocampal. 

According to the CDC, you are more likely to have prediabetes when you are overweight, over 44, exercise no more than three times per week, have a parent or sibling who has type 2 diabetes, experienced diabetes while pregnant, or has given birth to a child who weighs more than 9 pounds (4 kilograms). 

People who identify as Black, Hispanic or Latino, American Indian, Alaska Native, Pacific Islander, or Asian American are also at higher risk. By taking a test offered by the National Diabetes Prevention Programme, you can assess your own risk. 

All persons between the ages of 35 and 70 who are deemed medically overweight or obese should be evaluated for prediabetes or diabetes, according to the US Preventive Services Task Force. If blood sugar levels are a concern, risk can be decreased by losing weight, getting exercise, eating a nutritious diet, and staying away from processed and ultra-processed foods. 

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