Diabetes Linked to Increased Alzheimer Risk


You may already be aware that diabetes increases the risk for heart disease and stroke, blindness, lower limb amputations, and end-stage kidney failure. Now new research from the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago has found an association between diabetes and Alzheimer disease.

Scientists there followed more than 800 people with an average age of 75. After 6 1/2 years, those with diabetes were 65 percent more likely to end up with Alzheimer disease than the others. Even if they weren't diagnosed with Alzheimer's, those who had diabetes scored significantly lower on a test that gauged how quickly the brain could process basic information.

The circulatory systems of people with diabetes are often compromised by vascular disease (thus, the increased risk for heart attack and stroke). It is thought that perhaps vascular disease in the brain can play a role by impairing blood flow there.

Diabetes is on the rise, as are the overweight and inactivity that can cause it.

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