~ High Blood Sugar May Affect Cognition

United Press International, 08-10-06

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug 9, 2006 (UPI via COMTEX) -- A U.S. study of elderly women suggests chronically elevated blood sugar is associated with an increased risk of mild cognitive impairment or dementia.

The four-year study was the first to investigate the association over time between glycosylated hemoglobin -- a long-term measure of blood sugar -- and the risk of cognitive difficulties. It was also the first to investigate that association in people without diabetes.

"We already know there's a connection between diabetes and cognitive problems," said lead author Dr. Kristine Yaffe of the San Francisco VA Medical Center and a professor of psychiatry, neurology and epidemiology at the University of California-San Francisco.

"We were interested in what this measurement would tell us about a group of women with and without diabetes who were followed for four years," Yaffe said. "Nobody has really looked at that before."

The researchers found women with a glycosylated hemoglobin of 7 percent or higher at baseline were four times more likely to develop mild cognitive impairment or dementia than were women who tested at less than 7 percent.

The research appears in the Journal of Nutrition, Health, and Aging.

URL: www.upi.com.

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