People who develop prediabetes in their youth are more likely to develop mental illness later in life, a new study has found.

Prediabetes occurs when blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to clinically diagnose diabetes. Unfortunately, millions of Americans under the age of 60 have prediabetes—and many don’t even know it.

“Prediabetes is associated with dementia, but this risk is explained by the development of diabetes,” Elizabeth Selvin, professor of epidemiology, and doctoral student Jiaqi Hu said in a news release. Both are at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore.

The study, Published on Wednesday diabetes, Analyzed data from Atherosclerosis risk in communities Research. It enrolled people between the ages of 45 and 64 in four US counties: Forsyth County, North Carolina; Jackson, Mississippi; Minneapolis suburbs; and Washington County, Maryland.

People who developed type 2 diabetes before age 60 were three times more likely to develop dementia later in life than those who did not, the study found. If pre-diabetes turns into type 2 diabetes between the ages of 60 and 69, the risk is reduced, but only by a few points.

“We all have temporary spikes in our blood glucose levels. It goes up, then it goes down,” said Dr. Andrew Freeman, director of cardiovascular prevention and wellness at National Jewish Health in Denver, who was not involved in the study.

But if you look at ‘glucose years’ to find out what your glucose levels are and for how long, you’ll start to see them. Cumulative damage,” Freeman said. “And the earlier you’re exposed, the greater the damage.”

Meanwhile, research has shown that if type 2 diabetes goes undiagnosed until the person is in their 70s, the risk of dementia drops to 23 percent. And if a person has type 2 diabetes in their 80s and 90s, the risk is no greater than if they don’t have diabetes.

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Knowing your blood sugar levels early can help prevent dementia later in life, a study suggests.

“Pre-diabetes had a strong association with dementia, but this association was only among people who had diabetes,” Selwyn told CNN in an email. “This finding suggests that preventing the progression from pre-diabetes to diabetes may help prevent the progression of diabetes later in life.”

Alzheimer’s researcher Dr. Richard Isaacson, a preventive neurologist at the Florida Institute of Neurodegenerative Diseases, said the results are not shocking.

“I’ve been shouting this from the rooftops,” Isaacson, who was not involved in the study, said in an email. “If this research leads people to take action when they are diagnosed with ‘borderline diabetes’ or pre-diabetes, that will certainly improve brain health outcomes.”

More than 1 in 3 American adults have prediabetes, and 80% don’t even know it. US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. to a The third of these 18 to 44-year-olds are still young enough to have a disorder that puts them at risk for type 2 diabetes, serious cardiovascular problems and vascular dementia.

Worse, nearly 1 in 5 teenagers ages 12 to 18 and 1 in 4 adults ages 19 to 34 live with prediabetes. CDC said.

CDC Assumptions About 5.8 million people in the United States have Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. And according to the research mentioned in 2019 by Alzheimer’s AssociationBy age 45, 1 in 10 (10%) men and 1 in 5 (20%) women have a lifetime risk.

A 2013 meta-analysis Acquired type 2 diabetes is associated with a 60% increased risk of all-cause dementia. Also, people with dementia are more likely to die earlier than people with type 2 diabetes.

Although the exact relationship between diabetes and dementia is not known, according to research, there are several possible pathways.

“Diabetes increases the risk of heart disease and stroke, which damages the heart and blood vessels. Damaged blood vessels in the brain contribute to cognitive decline.” According to the Alzheimer’s Association.

Additionally, high blood sugar causes inflammation, which damages brain cells, the association said. Even people in the early stages of type 2 diabetes have symptoms of clots in the brain.

Research shows that type 2 diabetes significantly increases the amount of beta-amyloid protein in the brain, a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease, the association said.

This study is not the first to find a link between diabetes and dementia. A 2021 study In the United Kingdom, diabetes increased the risk of developing the disease by more than 18% 10 years ago.

Prediabetes is known as a silent predator, developing without any obvious symptoms. However, there are risk factors.

If you are overweight, you are over 44 years old, you exercise less than three times a week, you have a parent or sibling with type 2 diabetes, you have gestational diabetes, or you have a child over 9 years old, you are at risk for prediabetes. pounds (4 kilograms), according to the CDC.

Certain groups are at higher risk, including black, Hispanic or Latino, American Indian, Alaska Native, Pacific Islander, or Asian American. You can check your personal risk below. Take the test Provided by the National Diabetes Prevention Program.

of US Defense Services Task Force It recommends that adults ages 35 to 70 who are medically overweight or obese be screened for prediabetes or diabetes. If blood sugar is a concern, lose weight, exercise, eat healthy, and avoid processed foods Most spoiled foods It can reduce the risk.

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