Glycemic Events May Increase Dementia Risk
Individuals with type 1 diabetes who have a history of severe glycemic events may be at an increased risk of developing dementia later in life, according to the results of a recent study.
Of the 2821 individuals with type 1 diabetes who were included in this study, 14% (n = 398) had a history of severe low blood sugar, 12% (n = 335) had a history of severe high blood sugar, and 3% (n = 87) had both. Severe glycemic events were defined here as episodes of high or low blood sugar that required an emergency room visit or hospitalization.
Over the follow-up period of an average of 7 years, 5% (n = 153) of participants developed dementia. Participants with hypoglycemic events were at a 75% higher risk of developing dementia, and individuals with hyperglycemic events had more than twice the risk when compared to individuals without these events. The risk of developing dementia was more than 6 times higher in those who experienced both types of glycemic events, when compared to those who had neither.
In addition, participants with hypoglycemic events had an incidence rate of dementia of 26.5 cases for every 1000 person-years, compared to 13.2 for individuals without. Those with hyperglycemic events had a rate of 79.6 cases for every 1000 person-years, compared to 13.4. Individuals with both hypoglycemic and hyperglycemic events had an incidence rate of 98.5 for every 1000 person-years, compared to 12.8 for those with neither.
“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,” the researchers concluded.
Blood sugar highs and lows linked to greater dementia risk in type 1 diabetes. News release. Newswise; June 1, 2021. Accessed June 2, 2021. https://www.newswise.com/articles/blood-sugar-highs-and-lows-linked-to-greater-dementia-risk-in-type-1-diabetes