Insulin Management

Study Links Insulin Resistance with Greater Risk for Cognitive Decline

According to a recent study, insulin resistance is associated with greater cognitive decline in patients with cardiovascular disease, regardless of diabetes status.

The study examined the association between insulin resistance and cognitive performance over 2 decades in 498 patients with coronary heart disease with and without diabetes who had previously participated in the Bezafibrate Infarction Prevention trial. At baseline, researchers measured insulin resistance and other biochemical parameters using the homeostasis model of assessment (HOMA-IR). Cognitive assessment was conducted between 2004 and 2008 and again between 2011 and 2013, including tests on memory and executive function. Linear regression models and mixed models were used to evaluate differences in cognitive performance and decline, respectively.
Insulin Resistance Increases Alzheimer’s Risk
Could Insulin Resistance Increase Women’s Risk of Cognitive Decline?

The researchers found that in individuals in the top quartile of HOMA-IR, insulin resistance was associated with poorer overall cognitive performance and poorer performance on tests of memory and executive function among patients without diabetes.

“Moreover, among non-diabetic patients, [insulin resistance] was related to a greater decline overall (β= –0.17±0.06; p = 0.008), and in memory (β= –0.22±0.10; p = 0.024) and executive function (β= –0.19±0.08; p = 0.012). The observed associations did not differ after excluding subjects with prevalent stroke or dementia,” the researchers wrote.

—Melissa Weiss


Lutski M, Weinstein G, Goldbourt U, and Tanne D. Insulin resistance and future cognitive performance and cognitive decline in elderly patients with cardiovascular disease [published online March 21, 2017]. J Alzheimers Dis. doi:10.3233/JAD-161016.