If one needs further motivation to eat healthier, this might be it. According to a study published in the latest issue of Neurology, researchers say that Type 2 diabetes, and even having pre-diabetes (increased blood sugar levels), posed a significantly higher risk for dementia. The study was conducted between the years of 1988 and 2003 among a group of 1,017 Japanese men and women above the age of 60. Over the years, as their health was tracked, researchers were able to see how dementia develop among three groups: those without diabetes, those with pre-diabetes and those with Type 2 diabetes. Among those without diabetes, 150 of 559 (20%) developed dementia. Of the 308 with pre-diabetes, 76 (25%) developed dementia. Of the remaining 150 with diabetes, 41 (27%) developed dementia.
Should these findings hold true, what does this mean for America? We have a much higher obesity rate in this country, causing us to have rates of diabetes and pre-diabetes that are at epidemic proportions. Roughly 8 percent of Americans are believed to be diabetic, with a fourth of that group not even knowing it. Another 24% are believed to be pre-diabetic — this is about 76 million Americans.
No one wants diabetes but this study tells us more about why we need to work even harder on the prevention side. Perhaps, some dietary changes are in order.