Diabetes and High Blood Pressure In Middle Age Raise Risk of Cognitive Problems

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Diabetes and high blood pressure in middle age have already been tied to numerous health problems in later years, and a new study has found another way the conditions may be affecting our bodies. The study, published in the journal Neurology, says those who have either diabetes or high blood pressure may be more at risk for developing cognitive problems and loss of brain cells, especially those who are in middle age.

Blood Pressure MonitorThe study, conducted by researchers from the Mayo Clinic, examined data from almost 1,500 individuals with an average age of 80. The researchers assessed how many individuals had mild cognitive impairment, no cognitive problems, medical histories of diabetes, and blood pressure, and when such diagnoses occurred in their lifetime.

The scientists noted that participants who developed diabetes between the ages of 40-64 were twice as likely to have memory and thinking problems than those without diabetes. Participants who developed high blood pressure during those ages wee similarly twice as likely to have areas of brain damage.

The findings lead the researchers to believe that those who develop diabetes or high blood pressure during middle age are potentially at a higher risk of cognitive problems than those who develop the same conditions later on in life. Previous studies have already linked diabetes to cognitive decline, but no study had considered when the conditions are diagnosed.

This could also mean that diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure adversely affect the brain, but the symptoms may take as much as decades to develop. Because of this, the researchers said it is particularly significant to prevent disease in middle age in order to prevent cognitive issues later in life.

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