Long Term Effects of Pre-Diabetes and Diabetes could be bad for you

diabetes long term

According to studies, those people with prediabetes and diabetes has experience worse long-term cognitive decline than people with normal blood sugar levels. The results underscore just how dangerous impaired blood sugar is for overall health, from heart to brain – but the study also suggests that there’s a possible good news side to this story.

There might been many studies about this, but this one is the largest to find a direct relationship between A1c blood levels and risk of long-term cognitive decline. The A1c test (referred to as the HbA1c test in this study) reflects average blood sugar for the previous two to three months. Diabetes is generally defined by an A1c level of 6.5% or above, the equivalent of 126 mg of blood sugar per deciliter. A result of between 5.7 and 6.4% is considered prediabetic, which indicates high risk for developing diabetes.

diabetes long term

According to studies, those people with prediabetes and diabetes has experience worse long-term cognitive decline than people with normal blood sugar levels.

The study examined around 5,000 people in the UK, average age 66 (participants in the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing), including people with normal blood sugar levels and those with levels falling in the prediabetic to diabetic range. Cognitive function was evaluated at the beginning of the study and reassessed every two years over an eight year span to track changes in memory, executive brain function (such as decision-making speed), and overall cognitive function.

The results showed that those people with prediabetes and diabetes has 5,000 people in the UK, average age 66 (participants in the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing), including people with normal blood sugar levels and those with levels falling in the prediabetic to diabetic range. Cognitive function was evaluated at the beginning of the study and reassessed every two years over an eight year span to track changes in memory, executive brain function (such as decision-making speed), and overall cognitive function.

The researchers says that those people in the study showed some level of cognitive decline (natural result of getting older), but prediabetes and diabetes made the onset of decline come faster and the effects steeper than for people with normal blood sugar.

The study proves that you don’t need to be diabetic to experience worse cognitive decline – falling in the prediabetic range is close enough.

“Our study provides evidence to support the association of diabetes with subsequent cognitive decline. Moreover, our findings show a linear correlation between circulating HbA1c levels and cognitive decline, regardless of diabetic status,” the research team said in the study’s conclusion.

The good news here is that by knowledge of the condition would help in potentially slowing the rate of cognitive decline.

“Our findings suggest that interventions that delay diabetes onset, as well as management strategies for blood sugar control, might help alleviate the progression of subsequent cognitive decline over the long-term,” added the researchers.