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HHS HealthBeat (September 5, 2013)

Blood sugar and dementia

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

A study indicates people who have higher blood sugar levels have a higher risk of developing dementia than people whose blood sugar levels are normal, even if the people with higher levels don’t have diabetes.

Researcher Paul Crane of the University of Washington saw this in data on more than 2,000 people ages 65 and older in the Seattle-based Group Health Cooperative health care system:

``There was a graded relationship where the higher the blood sugar level, the higher the risk of dementia.’’

Crane says this does not prove higher blood sugar levels cause dementia. But he says being physically active as a way to help control blood sugar is a healthful idea.

The study in the New England Journal of Medicine was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

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HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

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Last revised: September 5, 2013