Late-Life Diabetes Status Tied to New Cognitive Impairment

Diabetes in late life with poor glycemic control, longer duration linked to incident cognitive impairment

WEDNESDAY, June 19, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Having diabetes, poor glycemic control, and longer diabetes duration are associated with worse cognitive outcomes in older adults during a median follow-up of five years, according to a study recently published in Diabetes Care.

Andreea M. Rawlings, Ph.D., from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, and colleagues analyzed data from 5,099 participants (59 percent female; mean age at baseline, 76 years) of the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study. Participants were followed from 2011-2013 until 2016-2017.

The researchers found associations between diabetes (hazard ratio [HR], 1.14; 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 1.00 to 1.31), poor glycemic control in persons with diabetes (HR, 1.31; 95 percent CI, 1.05 to 1.63), and longer diabetes duration (at least five years versus less than five years, HR, 1.59; 95 percent CI, 1.23 to 2.07) and incident cognitive impairment. A J-shaped association was noted between hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) and incident dementia. Independent of HbA1c, glycated albumin and fructosamine were also associated with incident dementia. Incident mild cognitive impairment was associated with HbA1c and fructosamine.

"In older adults with diabetes, maintaining glycemic control is an important avenue for mitigating cognitive impairments into older age," the authors write.

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